WP: how the Trump administration turns legal immigrants into illegal
According to the browser The Washington Post Katherine Rampell, Trump administration turns legal immigrants into illegal ones. According to the author, the administration has reduced the printing of documents that it has already promised immigrants, including green cards that can prove that these people are legally in the United States.
In mid-June, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ended a contract with the company that printed these documents. It is planned that the production will be provided with resources, but the "financial position of the agency", as stated in USCIS on July 9, caused a halt in hiring employees and reducing the printing of documents.
One of the two sites where these documents were printed, located in Corbin, Kentucky, ceased production in mid-June. Another facility at Summit Lee, Missouri, seems to be running at reduced power.
About 50 green cards and 000 other work permit documents promised to immigrants were not printed, the USCIS statement said.
The agency said it planned to increase print volumes, but “cannot speculate on future forecasts of processing time.” In case of indefinite leave of employees who agency threatened if it did not receive a loan $ 1,2 billion from Congress, "all operations will be affected."
Some of the pending green cards are for immigrants recently approved for legal permanent residence. Others are for people who have long been permanent residents, but they are required to periodically renew their IDs, which expire every 10 years (sometimes they need to be replaced earlier, for example, if lost). These immigrants completed all interviews, completed biometric assessments, overcame other obstacles, and often waited for years for these important documents.
The Immigration and Citizenship Act requires that every adult legal permanent resident “always” have a valid green card. Failure to comply with this requirement is an administrative offense for which you can pay a fine or go to jail. Immigrants must also show their green card to apply for a job, to travel, or to enter the United States.
It is clear that panicking immigrants, trying to get their documents issued, threw USCIS with calls with questions.
“We've had an increase in requests for approved cases, but no cards are produced,” said one agency employee. - Some of the requests had to be processed according to an accelerated procedure, and we cannot do anything about it. Many of us are really upset that the applicants do not know what is really going on. "
Usually, within 48 hours after the applicant’s approval, the USCIS online system indicates that the card was printed. Immigration lawyers across the country have been puzzled by the fact that these status updates have not appeared recently. Many thought the delays were due to a pandemic.
Anu Nair, a lawyer from Philadelphia, claims: in early June, a USCIS employee said that the services of all contractors will be refused and long delays are expected in paperwork.
Memphis lawyer Elissa Taub asked USCIS about her client’s missing green card and received a cryptic email: “The system needs to be updated in order to get the card. You will receive [the card] by mail as soon as the system is updated. ”
USCIS, which is almost entirely funded by fees, is undergoing a budget crisis, largely caused by poor management by the political leadership, the author claims. Failures in the press are, without a doubt, a rehearsal of impending chaos if the agency dismisses about 70% of its workforce. According to representatives of the agency, this will happen in a few weeks if help from Congress is not received.
In recent months, the administration has taken other steps to curb immigration. Presidential orders almost completely stopped issuing green cards and work visas for people applying outside the country; The bureaucracy has slowed down the application process from abroad. For some time, the agency refused to send documents from one office to another. Centers that collect the necessary biometric data remain closed.
These delays can significantly reduce the number of green cards that will eventually be approved and issued this year.
On the subject: How can immigrants benefit from delays in USCIS?
Under normal circumstances, immigrants who need proof of legal residence, but have not yet received a green card, should have an alternative: get a special mark in the documents from USCIS. But now candidates have to provide evidence of a “critical need” to obtain such a mark - it is not fully clear what that means.
“The bottom line is that applicants pay huge filing fees, and it looks like those fees were either wasted due to mismanagement or diverted to enforcement initiatives to the detriment of the applicants, as well as the overall efficiency of the immigration process,” says Anis Saleh is an immigration attorney in Coral Gables, Florida. "The administration has achieved its goal of shutting down legal immigration without actually changing the law."
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