On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship will host a hearing titled “Oversight of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.” The hearing will include a panel with Joseph Edlow, Deputy Director of USCIS and another panel that consists of non-government speakers from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Federation of Government Employees Local 1924, Federation of American Scientists, and Center for Immigration Studies to discuss this important issue.
Last week, USCIS confirmed that the agency would postpone furloughs for 13,400 employees that were scheduled to begin in August because of “recent assurances from Congress and an uptick in application and petitions receipts.” With all moving parts and questions about USCIS’ potential furloughs, this timely hearing will provide policymakers and stakeholders with important updates on the agency and increase transparency.
In advance of the hearing, IIUSA submitted a data report for the official record. The report provided a quantitative review of USCIS revenue collection from filing fees based on case filing and adjudication volumes in the first half of the fiscal year 2020 and compares those levels with previous years.
Based on the latest available data on all application and petition form types submitted to USCIS, our analysis found that:
- USCIS received more case filings in the first half of FY2020. Overall, 3,774,876 applications and petitions were filed in the Q1 and Q2 FY2020, an increase of 5% year-over-year. In particular, the number of cases filed for family-based preferences was up by 20% in FY2020;
- USCIS collected more than $1.8 billion in filing fees during Q1 and Q2 FY2020, an growth of approximately $158 million (or 9%) year-over-year;
- Overall, USCIS adjudicated nearly 3.68 million applications and petitions in Q1 and Q2 FY2020, an uptick of 558,336 cases or an increase of 18% year-over-year. Should USICS receive payment after a case is adjudicated, we estimated that payments upon case adjudication increased by $282 million year-over-year due to the growth of adjudication volumes in FY2020;
- As of March 2020, a total of 5,502,726 cases were still pending in USCIS, representing approximately $2.94 billion in filing fees based on our estimates;
- Filing fees for EB-5 petitions and applications (Form I-924, Form I-924A, Form I-526, and Form I-829) are the highest among all of other USCIS forms. Based on the number of pending petitions and applications as of Q2 FY2020, we estimated that the backlog of EB-5 cases represented a total of nearly $108 million in filing fees.
IIUSA would like to thank our members: Dan Lundy, Bill Gresser, and Irina Rostova for their expertise, insights, and comments on this report.
Hearing: Oversight of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 – 09:30am
Location: 2141 RHOB