The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been a focus for President Trump since before his 2016 election. Through defunding and mismanagement, the administration ran the once-self-sufficient organization into the ground to the point where 70% of its workforce was on the verge of furlough on August 30.
The government avoided the crisis by increasing the application fees in the 2021 fiscal year, which started on October 1, with the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act. This initiative increases the profits of the USCIS by expanding the premium processing program and to increase program fees.
Trump Administration caused the problem
The Trump administration used hundreds of executive actions to avoid congressional oversight in instituting changes. Many of these actions made it more difficult for legal migrants to enter and work in the United States. While opponents fought these changes in federal court, the administration essentially did its best to damage the USCIS.
“Under the Trump Administration, USCIS has issued a flurry of policies that make its case adjudications more complicated, which reduces the agency’s efficiency and requires more staff to complete fewer cases,” testified Doug Rand, a founder of Boundless Immigration and a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists. “There are dozens if not hundreds of such policies.”
Access for those who can afford it
The USCIS Act broadens the range of immigration benefits available for premium processing services. Because of the above problems, the regular processing times for immigration applications increased for everyone, including those who wanted to renew work visas and work authorization documents (EADs). This new act enables immigrants who can afford it to expedite their applications but is of less help to those who have little or no money.