Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Despite the Biden administration's avowed commitment to promote naturalization, a U.S. Government Accountability Office report faults the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for not doing enough to reduce its backlog of millions of immigration cases. According to law360, in a 72-page report, the GAO said that although the number of applications and petitions USCIS received annually remained at about 8 million and 10 million, respectively, from 2015 until 2020 — generating $4.8 billion in revenues for 2020 — the USCIS' caseload grew roughly 85% as processing times ballooned in part due to COVID-19-related staffing shortages, competing priorities and policy changes that expanded interview requirements.
The report recommends that the USCIS create performance measures to better monitor how quickly certain forms are processed, and it suggests that the USCIS proactively identify the resources necessary to address its caseload.