USCIS Postpones Administrative Furlough Scheduled for August 30, 2020
USCIS has been planning furloughs for several months, citing declining revenues due to COVID-related closures and lower filing volumes. The agency previously announced that almost two-thirds of the workforce would be furloughed starting August 30, 2020. In an attempt to prevent the workforce and services disruption, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act. It still faces challenges in the Senate before being sent to the White House for the President’s signature.
Earlier today, USCIS notified employees that the agency was “in a position to cancel the current administrative furlough that was scheduled to begin on Aug. 30, 2020.” The announcement credited the agency’s efforts to “find savings” by making spending cuts. The agency warns that the “severe cost cutting efforts” will “have an impact on agency operations.” The agency implores Congress to take action to find a long-term fix.
USCIS predicts the following operational impacts may occur:
- Reduction in the number of contractors who assist the federal workforce
- Wait times for pending case inquiries through USCIS Contact Center will increase
- Case processing times will increase
- Naturalization adjudications will slowdown
While a new target date is not set, the message to the workforce noted that a “future furlough scenario is still possible” unless Congress takes action.
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