Records management

CIS girds for first wave of deferred deportation renewals

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On Aug. 15, 2012, the first day Citizenship and Immigration Services opened applications to its program aimed at temporarily protecting the children of illegal immigrants from deportation, more than 16,000 applicants lined up at Chicago's Navy Pier to fill out the paperwork.

There were similar lines elsewhere in the country to apply for the deferral program.

The deadline for renewal of that first wave of applicants comes in September and the Department of Homeland Security is trying to spur participants to apply now to avoid delays.

On June 5, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the process for individuals to renew their participation in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. CIS has filed an updated form to the Federal Register to allow individuals previously enrolled in DACA to renew their deferral for two years. Johnson said CIS will begin accepting renewal requests "effective immediately." The agency will also continue to accept requests for DACA from individuals who have not previously applied.

A CIS spokesman said the agency expects the renewals to be more spread out than the rush of initial applications in 2012, and that the agency's IT infrastructure will to be able to handle the influx.

"The specific IT and data processing capabilities USCIS uses to process DACA requests have now been in place for the two years of the program, handling over 640,000 requests as of the end of March, 2014," a CIS spokesman said in an email to FCW. "Those individuals requesting an extension of the DACA will send in their request between 120-150 days from their date of expiration. As such, the requests will come to USCIS in a staggered fashion, and not all at once. This situation is actually expected to be more manageable than the initial DACA launch, when anyone eligible for DACA could apply at any time."

CIS recently tapped software development and cloud managed services provider InfoZen to develop agile software processes to create a paperless immigration process. It's unclear if the work applies to the DACA renewals, however.

InfoZen said in a March 19 announcement that it won a new three-year, $12 million prime contract with the agency to work with its agile development teams to integrate and operate open source software tools. The contract, according to InfoZen, is in direct support of the agency's goal of a paperless electronic immigration system that will transform nearly all of the agency's processes.

InfoZen's scope of work encompasses integrating work products of up to 20 agile development teams, automating end-to-end development and DevOps processes, managing builds and providing configuration control.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer covering acquisition, procurement and homeland security. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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