Two of the service centers are, of course, the CSC and the VSC.
No new [USCIS] workers have been hired to review the school records, sworn affidavits and other documentation each applicant is required to file. And no funds have been appropriated to pay added processing costs. Officials said the initial budget would be covered by the $465-per-application fee, and as more fees are collected, new staff will be hired.
An application for an undocumented farmworker to apply for legal amnesty under a program signed by President Reagan in 1986 cost the immigration agency $1,130 to process, two members of Congress wrote in an Aug. 7 letter to Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security.
In the past, not charging enough to review applications has "resulted in an enormous backlog of legal immigration benefits applications and very long processing wait times for legal immigrants and aspiring U.S. citizens," wrote Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).
On Tuesday, Smith denounced the deferral program as a "magnet for fraud and abuse" designed to shore up Latino support for Obama. "There seems to be little if any mechanism in place for vetting fraudulent applications and documentation submitted by illegal immigrants," Smith said in a statement.
Applicants must mail completed forms and documentation to one of four immigration service centers: in Laguna Niguel; Dallas; Burlington, Vt.; or Lincoln, Neb.
Upwards of 1.7 million of these applications are expected as a conservative estimate. USCIS is probably under political pressure to make their processing a priority. Anyone who is concerned about the impact on processing times for legal-immigration petitions might wish to contact their Congressman and U.S. Senator, or else sit back and be aware that the standard processing times could be extended, by a short or long time.