USCIS anticipates major furloughs
- By Lia Russell
- Jun 26, 2020
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is staring down the prospect of having to furlough almost three-fourths of its workforce.
The American Federation of Governments Employees, whose local Council 119 represents USCIS employees, told FCW that 13,400 workers were set to receive notices beginning this week and that furloughs would begin August 3 if the agency does not receive more emergency funding.
In May, USCIS requested $1.2 billion to make up for shortfalls in funding fees generated by immigration applications, which have evaporated largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On June 16, AFGE National President Everett Kelley testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Management and Accountability about USCIS's plans for reopening and asked that Congress intervene and ensure that whatever money the agency received went to compensating its workers.
"The emergency appropriation supplement should not be granted if the agency intends to use the money solely or even primarily to pay contractors and proceed with its plan to furlough its own workforce. Thus, we urge you to require USCIS to forgo furloughing any of its own workforce as a condition of receiving the supplemental appropriation it has requested," Kelley said.
Lia Russell is a staff writer and associate editor at FCW covering the federal workforce. Before joining FCW, she worked as a freelance labor reporter in San Francisco for outlets such SF Weekly, The American Prospect and The Baffler. Russell graduated with a bachelor's degree from Bard College.
Contact Lia at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @LiaOffLeash.