U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may furlough 70% of workforce due to pandemic slowdown

Immigration has dropped sharply as the pandemic has continued.

Updated: June 16, 2020 - 6:50pm

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The federal government's Citizenship and Immigration Services is set to furlough as much as 70% of its workforce by August, a decision that comes as a direct result of a major collapse in immigration due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

A spokesperson for the agency confirmed to Just the News on Tuesday that it had "seen a dramatic decrease in revenue" during the pandemic and was facing the prospect of significant dismissals over the next several weeks. 

"Without congressional intervention, USCIS will need to administratively furlough approximately 13,400 employees," the spokesperson said. The agency employees approximately 19,000 workers. 

"We previously anticipated that the furlough to begin on July 20, but we have received additional revenue and have identified cost savings to extend the potential furlough date to August 3 in the event Congress does not provide emergency funding," the spokesperson added. 

USCIS signaled in May that it is in dire financial straits, the result of a significant decrease in cash flow associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The agency last month petitioned Congress for a two-year $1.2 billion infusion to cover its expected shortfall. It is also looking to increase its immigration application fees by 10%. 

The agency derives most of its funding from "fees [it charges] applicants or petitioners requesting immigration or naturalization benefits." 

Absent congressional assistance, the agency's funding will be exhausted by the summer. 

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