With A Projected USCIS Surplus, Leahy & Tester Call On The Agency To Postpone Its Planned Furloughs

WASHINGTON (TUESDAY, July 21, 2020) – Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Tuesday called on Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Deputy Director For Policy Joseph Edlow to postpone plans to furlough 13,000 USCIS employees after revised revenue estimates show the agency will end the fiscal year with a surplus, not the originally projected $571 million deficit.

Leahy and Tester write:  “…despite this welcome reversal in revenue estimates, USCIS has perplexingly chosen to proceed with furloughs of over 13,000 federal employees. During this pandemic with record unemployment, needlessly forcing these hardworking Americans into unemployment will crush the morale of the workforce and put an untold number of families into unnecessary financial distress.”

Needlessly moving forward with the furlough would put thousands of dedicated public servants out of work at a time of record on employment and in the middle of the pandemic.  This would have ripple effects on communities across the country.  Additionally, thousands of United States Citizens, employers, and students that rely on the work of USCIS, including members of the military, would be impacted by loss of services. 

Leahy and Tester’s full letter is available HERE.

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