Backgrounder: USCIS’ Self-Induced Financial Crisis

Last Updated

June 30, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, is requesting a $1.2 billion bailout from Congress, saying that without it, they will drastically cut services and furlough 13,400 public servants. USCIS, which processes immigration and naturalization applications, is funded primarily by the fees it charges customers – immigrants, their families and employers. Other federal agencies are funded by taxpayer dollars. While the agency’s acting director cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the cause of the funding crisis, CLINIC has long raised alarms that USCIS leadership has mismanaged the agency for years.