USCIS Processing Backlogs Increase Under Trump Administration
February 21, 2019
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Article by Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.
February 21, 2019
Processing times for many types of applications for immigration benefits have increased significantly in the last year. U.S. Department of Homeland Security figures for fiscal year 2017 show the backlog of cases at USCIS has doubled since fiscal year 2016 to over 2 million. It is unclear what is responsible for this increased backlog, although it could relate to increased vetting of applications and increased requests for evidence, especially in employment-based cases. It may also be related to USCIS’s new policy of interviewing all employment-based applicants for adjustment of status. USCIS previously granted many of these applications without requiring an interview. More than 80 Democratic members of Congress have sent a letter to USCIS’s secretary asking for an explanation for the backlog.
Applicants experiencing backlogs at USCIS have a number of options including asking USCIS to expedite their case if they can show delay will cause them significant financial or personal hardship or inquiring on the status of their case through the USCIS Ombudsman’s office or through one of their Congressional representatives. In cases of extreme delay, they may also be able to file a mandamus lawsuit asking a federal court to order USCIS to make a decision on their application.