Immigration agency asks for emergency funds, will raise fees
Washington — The U.S. government agency that processes citizenship applications and work visas is running out of money because of the COVID-19 pandemic and says it needs to raise its fees and receive emergency funding from Congress to stay afloat.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is typically funded through the fees it charges people seeking to live or work in the country. But the agency said Sunday that it has seen a dramatic decrease in applications as a result of the pandemic.
Much of the U.S. immigration system has ground to a halt. Nearly all visa processing by the State Department is suspended and travel to the U.S. has been restricted. In April, President Donald Trump announced a 60-day pause on the issuance of green cards to limit competition for jobs in a U.S. economy wrecked by the coronavirus.
USCIS said in a statement that it expects its revenue will drop by about 61% through the end of the year.
It sent a request to Congress on Friday for $1.2 billion in emergency funding. It said it would reimburse taxpayers by adding a 10% surcharge to application fees.
The agency did not say whether it would seek to reduce its workforce or impose furloughs, but said it has cut expenses and would “have to take drastic actions to keep the agency afloat” without the emergency funding from Congress.
Stories that may interest you
President Donald Trump said Saturday that his administration had "made a lot of progress" on controlling the novel coronavirus pandemic, even as the seven-day average of cases in the United States set a record for the 26th straight day.
Six months into a pandemic that has killed more than half a million people, more than 200 scientists from around the world are challenging the official view of how the coronavirus spreads.
U.S. racial and ethnic minorities accounted for all of the nation’s population growth during the last decade, according to new Census Bureau estimates.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Trump campaign fundraiser who is dating Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, ahead of the president's Independence Day celebration Friday night at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, a person familiar with the...
All of our stories about the coronavirus are being provided free of charge as a service to the public. You can find all of our stories here.