The significant case backlog at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which reportedly reached almost 10 million cases earlier this year, has officially been addressed by legislation sponsored by a California congressman.
In a press release, U.S. Representative Tony Cárdenas (D-Pacoima) explained that his Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2022 (H.R. 9226) would require the USCIS and the Government Accountability Office "to determine the reasons for the processing delays and find potential solutions to reduce the immigration case backlog."
From 2015 to 2020, the number of cases pending a judgment at USCIS increased from 3.2 to 5.8 million, according to Cárdenas' office. The USCIS stated at a presentation in February that it was reviewing more than 9.5 million pending applications—a 66% increase from the end of the fiscal year 2019—and that this number was growing.
“The extreme immigration backlog at USCIS is leaving countless individuals in limbo,” Cárdenas claims. “Right now, families in my district and across the country are left waiting weeks, months, and even years without a single update on their case or let alone a resolution. This isn’t fair to these applicants; they deserve to have the peace of mind that their cases are being handled fairly and timely.”
The measure proposed on October 25 would implement quarterly reporting requirements for information on the quantity of open immigration benefit applications, the net backlog, typical processing times, evaluations of USCIS practices, and initiatives to reduce the backlog.
The EB 5 Industry Supports the Legislation
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and the National Partnership for New Americans have all approved the Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2022. (NPNA).
“For years, the families, vulnerable individuals, and U.S. businesses that are more than 16,000 members regularly have suffered devastating consequences from USCIS’s processing delays,” AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson declared. “Families have been separated, businesses have lost key employees, and vulnerable individuals remain in jeopardy. We commend Representative Cardenas for remaining steadfast in holding USCIS accountable. This bill will demand that USCIS review and analyze the causes of the ever-growing immigration case backlog and ensure efficient and effective solutions are put in place for its customers.”
Nicole Melaku, executive director of NPNA, declared in a press release that the act “represents a positive step towards understanding the causes of USCIS backlogs and having the public reporting that it is necessary to increase accountability and transparency. For years, NPNA has called for USCIS to reduce backlogs and processing delays so that families and individuals do not have to wait unnecessarily for their applications to be processed. We commend this act for proposing common sense solutions, where Congress and USCIS can work together to address this issue and enhance efficiency and fairness."
Response of EB 5 Community to Backlog Legislation
After going from bad to worse processing delays, the Biden administration's attempts to improve America's broken immigration system had failed.
The economy urgently needs a solution to be able to hire the best and brightest graduates coming out of our universities, especially in high technology and healthcare, as well as to address the shortage of skilled workers in construction, transportation, and other critical sectors. In addition, investor cases can languish at adjudication centers and consulates for years. As nearly 6 million cases wait for adjudication, Congress needs to act now to provide transparency and real solutions to these absurd waiting lines that have caused hundreds of thousands of visas to be wasted.
The law may reduce the backlog. Appliers, some of whom have not heard from USCIS in years, would benefit from the law, which is a step in the right direction.
Without a doubt, the responsibility of USCIS to higher authorities should improve the existing circumstance of the uncharacteristically large backlog of processing times. Even though the proposed act's primary goal is to cut back on family-based immigration categories, it should benefit all of them. However, the proposed act is more educational. There must be a call to action. No precise suggested processing durations for each category. In addition, we have not noticed any effects or fallout from exceeding the processing time objectives.
A significant problem facing USCIS is a shortage of funds. The Case Backlog and Transparency Act would make it easier to determine how much cash is required to deal with the backlog.
Missing these targets by more than a tiny percentage should have highly harsh implications once they obtain the resources they require.
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