USCIS Announces Fee Increases

The Unbearable Lightness of USCIS Fee Increases

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USCIS may or may not be underfunded, but there is little reason to believe that the fee increases will improve services for employers or individuals.

My colleagues in the business immigration bar did an admirable job yesterday and today outlining these changes. I have little to add to their efforts.

Instead, perhaps we should consider some of the changes government agencies could take that would improve service. Source: The Cato Institute

The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank and their viewpoint (like all perspectives) should be critically evaluated. We can quibble about some of the specifics, but the essence of their argument is compelling. From the linked paper:

[The immigration system] is second to none in its use of inefficient procedures to carry out its duties. The multi departmental division of authority, duplicative reviews, antiquated technology use, outdated bureaucratic procedures, unresponsive customer service, intense and unwarranted skepticism applied to all applicants, and lack of accountability or oversight have no parallel in the federal government. These deficiencies have spawned spiraling backlogs, unimaginable wait times, lawsuits by applicants, and countless mistakes—all of which cost people time, money, and the rights to live, work, and join their families…

…This paper cannot detail all the procedural inefficiencies in the legal immigration system. However, it does outline the largest ones and some more straightforward problems that the agencies could easily correct. Mostly, the issues outlined in this paper have no bearing on the goals of these agencies’ policies. Instead, the issues thwart the efficient implementation of the policies...

With backlogs in the tens of millions, U.S. immigration agencies face a critical choice. They can either streamline away unnecessary requirements or plod along—making do with massive backlogs and gigantic wait times, while charging applicants ever more money to fund an inefficient system. The proposals laid out in this paper would radically reduce the number of filings, simplify procedures, and reduce backlogs across agencies. With millions of fewer filings and more straightforward processes, the immigration agencies can focus on faster processing times and better service for applicants, as well as the American employers trying to hire them.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Charles Gillman at [email protected]

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