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The hypocrisy is outstanding, who caused most of these issues? I do not doubt inefficiencies in any Government system can be significant but hey this was the system you created and stuck on the administration and now it is all their fault?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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This isn't going to do anything.  The only way to fix the USCIS at this point is a complete audit, reform of current laws and procedures, and proper funding and hiring to resolve the backlog.  They won't do anything until Trump tells them to, the Senator is going to get immigration reform passed in the administrations current state.

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Not sure Dems wait until Trump tells them. Neither Senate or Congress seem interested so nothing changes.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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This isn't some new issue though. Think people think, because of Trump's stance on reforms, it's his fault for this when it's been this way for decades most likely. Hence why they are closing offices/ridding of DCF in locations, ect. Bring workers back to try and tackle the backlog, but even then, still would take years. Even if USCIS right now said "Approved" on all petitions in their possession, the embassies could not even attempt to handle doing those interviews. And if they maxed themselves to do them, could you imagine the influx of that many people in a relatively short time all moving to the US? That in itself would be a huge strain on the local area they would be going to. Hence another reason I think in a sense they have it as it is, because how many people at one time can the country, especially small town communities handle?


08/15/2014 : Met Online

06/30/2016 : I-129F Packet Sent

07/08/2016 : NOA 1 Received

08/25/2016 : NOA 2 Received (48 days)

11/08/2016 : Interview - APPROVED!

11/18/2016 : Visa in hand

11/23/2016 : POE - Dallas, Texas

From sending of I-129F petiton to POE - 146 days.

 

02/03/2017 - Married 

02/24/2017 - AOS packet sent

06/01/2017 - EAD/AP Combo Card Received in mail

12/06/2017 - I-485 Approved

12/14/2017 - Green Card Received in mail - No Interview

 

 

giphy.gif     giphy.gif

 

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I am sure there is plenty of side walk space in LA. A conundrum that nobody seems to have thought through, actions have consequences.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, givionte said:

proper funding and hiring to resolve the backlog

They have the funding already, from all of our ridiculously high fees.  No taxpayer money, no increase in budget from Congress is needed.  All those fees pile up in some government account, it must be a huge amount with the long wait times these days.  That money is more than enough to hire more staff, train them, open more offices, pay for the latest computer systems, overhaul the processing systems, etc. to speed up processing and resolve the backlog.  I would love to see a complete audit of the whole mess--how much money they take in, how they use that money, etc.  Hell, it's probably so many millions that they could hire the most expensive consulting firm in the world to overhaul and expand and upgrade everything so that petitions and visas and the whole process could be done in a month or two.  None of this will happen with the current administration--they want to slow things down if anything...

Edited by carmel34

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

They have the funding already, from all of our ridiculously high fees.  No taxpayer money, no increase in budget from Congress is needed.  All those fees pile up in some government account, it must be a huge amount with the long wait times these days.  That money is more than enough to hire more staff, train them, open more offices, pay for the latest computer systems, overhaul the processing systems, etc. to speed up processing and resolve the backlog.  I would love to see a complete audit of the whole mess--how much money they take in, how they use that money, etc.  Hell, it's probably so many millions that they could hire the most expensive consulting firm in the world to overhaul and expand and upgrade everything so that petitions and visas and the whole process could be done in a month or two.  

Here's a document you may find interesting. We've been digesting it for a few days and crunching the figures. 

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/nativedocuments/Processing_Delays_-_Representative_Garcia.pdf

 

Point #5 is pertinent:

"USCIS's proposed FY 2019 budget requested the transfer of over 200 million dollars in fee revenue out of USCIS into ICE. The budget specifies that that money would be used, among other purposes, for the hiring of over 300 ICE enforcement officers. This appears to represent part of USCIS's larger shift towards prioritizing immigration enforcement over the service-oriented adjudications at the core of the agency's mandate. Why, at a time when families, vulnerable individuals, and U.S. businesses are suffering around the country due to pervasive USCIS processing delays, did your agency seek to transfer over 200 million dollars of USCIS resources to ICE?"

 

This is Cissna's (Director of USCIS) response:

"The President's Budget for FY 2019 proposed to fund certain U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account (IEF A) rather than from annual appropriations. Congress did not approve this proposal. The Depai1ment of Homeland Security FY 2019 ICE Budget Overview submitted to Congress described the basis for the proposal:

 

Description In FY 2019, ICE proposed a decrease of $207.6M for O&S Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Domestic Investigations Operations as a result of a nonexpenditure transfer from the IEF A which shifts requirements from discretionary to mandatory funding. IEF A was established by Section 286 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1356) and funds the cost of providing immigration adjudications and naturalization services. This cost includes investigations to detennine whether individuals or organizations requesting immigration benefits pose a threat to national security, public safety, or the integrity of the nation's immigration system to include work perfo1med after an adjudication decision has been rendered by USCIS. USCIS collects fees with the submission of immigration benefit applications and petitions and deposits the fee revenue into the IEF A.

 

Justification ICE would have used $207.6M oflEFA collections to offset costs incurred in the HSI Program, Project, and Activity (PP A) in the O&S appropriation. IEF A collections would have funded domestic investigative activities performed by HSI, suppo1iing several benefit fraud-related investigations and programs including investigatory work necessary to adjudicate immigration applications. In response to EO 13767 Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements and EO 13768 Enhancing Public April 2019 Page 6 Safety in the Interior of the United States, ICE expects an increase in investigative leads and cases involving identity and benefit fraud related crimes. To meet the level of these anticipated investigations, ICE would have utilized collections from IEF A to fund the additional hiring of 300 special agents and 212 support personnel in HSI Domestic Investigations. These positions would have specifically support the prevention and detection of immigration benefit fraud and the investigative work necessary to adjudicate applications, including visa overstay. IEF A collections will support three main activities within the HSI Domestic Investigations Level IIPP A:

 

• Document and Benefit Fraud Task Forces (DBFTFs): HSI's DBFTFs combat crime by targeting criminal enterprises and individuals who attempt to use document and benefit fraud to compromise the integrity of the immigration system. The additional IEFA-funded personnel would have allowed DBFTFs to further improve information sharing, reduce duplication of efforts, and conduct more effective investigations alongside other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.

 

• Operation Janus: Operation Janus is an interagency initiative designed by DHS to prevent aliens who received a final removal order under a different identity from obtaining immigration benefits. The additional special agents funded by IEF A would have allowed HSI to more quickly and effectively investigate the estimated 887 leads expected from the second wave of Operation Janus. • Operation Second Look (OSL): OSL is a program initiated by HSI to address leads received from Operation Janus. HSI is in the second phase of OSL, and increased staffing would support the review of an estimated 700,000 remaining alien files.

 

• The HSI Domestic Investigations staff will also support a variety of other fraud prevention and investigative activities, such as forensic document examination, outreach programs, lead referrals, employer compliance inspections, and adoption of compliance best practices.

 

• HSI domestic investigative activities funded by IEFA support DHS Mission, secure and manage our borders and mission, and enforce and administer our immigration laws. An increase in LEO staffing and associated support staff is critical to supporting ICE's ability to apprehend, detain, and remove aliens, to efficiently represent the U.S. Government in immigration proceedings, and to disrupt and dismantle TCOs."

Edited by fip & jim
Explained who Cissna is

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1 minute ago, fip & jim said:

Here's a document you may find interesting. We've been digesting it for a few days and crunching the figures. 

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/nativedocuments/Processing_Delays_-_Representative_Garcia.pdf

 

Point #5 is pertinent:

"USCIS's proposed FY 2019 budget requested the transfer of over 200 million dollars in fee revenue out of USCIS into ICE. The budget specifies that that money would be used, among other purposes, for the hiring of over 300 ICE enforcement officers. This appears to represent part of USCIS's larger shift towards prioritizing immigration enforcement over the service-oriented adjudications at the core of the agency's mandate. Why, at a time when families, vulnerable individuals, and U.S. businesses are suffering around the country due to pervasive USCIS processing delays, did your agency seek to transfer over 200 million dollars of USCIS resources to ICE?"

 

This is Cissna's response:

"The President's Budget for FY 2019 proposed to fund certain U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account (IEF A) rather than from annual appropriations. Congress did not approve this proposal. The Depai1ment of Homeland Security FY 2019 ICE Budget Overview submitted to Congress described the basis for the proposal: Description In FY 2019, ICE proposed a decrease of $207.6M for O&S Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Domestic Investigations Operations as a result of a nonexpenditure transfer from the IEF A which shifts requirements from discretionary to mandatory funding. IEF A was established by Section 286 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1356) and funds the cost of providing immigration adjudications and naturalization services. This cost includes investigations to detennine whether individuals or organizations requesting immigration benefits pose a threat to national security, public safety, or the integrity of the nation's immigration system to include work perfo1med after an adjudication decision has been rendered by USCIS. USCIS collects fees with the submission of immigration benefit applications and petitions and deposits the fee revenue into the IEF A. Justification ICE would have used $207.6M oflEFA collections to offset costs incurred in the HSI Program, Project, and Activity (PP A) in the O&S appropriation. IEF A collections would have funded domestic investigative activities performed by HSI, suppo1iing several benefit fraud-related investigations and programs including investigatory work necessary to adjudicate immigration applications. In response to EO 13767 Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements and EO 13768 Enhancing Public April 2019 Page 6 Safety in the Interior of the United States, ICE expects an increase in investigative leads and cases involving identity and benefit fraud related crimes. To meet the level of these anticipated investigations, ICE would have utilized collections from IEF A to fund the additional hiring of 300 special agents and 212 support personnel in HSI Domestic Investigations. These positions would have specifically support the prevention and detection of immigration benefit fraud and the investigative work necessary to adjudicate applications, including visa overstay. IEF A collections will support three main activities within the HSI Domestic Investigations Level IIPP A: • Document and Benefit Fraud Task Forces (DBFTFs): HSI's DBFTFs combat crime by targeting criminal enterprises and individuals who attempt to use document and benefit fraud to compromise the integrity of the immigration system. The additional IEFA-funded personnel would have allowed DBFTFs to further improve information sharing, reduce duplication of efforts, and conduct more effective investigations alongside other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. • Operation Janus: Operation Janus is an interagency initiative designed by DHS to prevent aliens who received a final removal order under a different identity from obtaining immigration benefits. The additional special agents funded by IEF A would have allowed HSI to more quickly and effectively investigate the estimated 887 leads expected from the second wave of Operation Janus. • Operation Second Look (OSL): OSL is a program initiated by HSI to address leads received from Operation Janus. HSI is in the second phase of OSL, and increased staffing would support the review of an estimated 700,000 remaining alien files. • The HSI Domestic Investigations staff will also support a variety of other fraud prevention and investigative activities, such as forensic document examination, outreach programs, lead referrals, employer compliance inspections, and adoption of compliance best practices. • HSI domestic investigative activities funded by IEFA support DHS Mission, secure and manage our borders and mission, and enforce and administer our immigration laws. An increase in LEO staffing and associated support staff is critical to supporting ICE's ability to apprehend, detain, and remove aliens, to efficiently represent the U.S. Government in immigration proceedings, and to disrupt and dismantle TCOs."

WOW!  This sort of government nonsense makes me sick.  It's not surprising because the huge backlog results in a big fat bank account of money that is a likely target for this sort of abuse.  Fees for immigration petitions and visas that could be used to clear the backlog if used for their intended purpose are being diverted to ICE enforcement---it's so wrong on many levels.  Thanks for sharing this.  It makes me want to write a bunch of angry letters to politicians, but who has time for that?  And as we know, nothing is going to change anyway so why waste time with letters?

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7 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

WOW!  This sort of government nonsense makes me sick.  It's not surprising because the huge backlog results in a big fat bank account of money that is a likely target for this sort of abuse.  Fees for immigration petitions and visas that could be used to clear the backlog if used for their intended purpose are being diverted to ICE enforcement---it's so wrong on many levels.  Thanks for sharing this.  It makes me want to write a bunch of angry letters to politicians, but who has time for that?  And as we know, nothing is going to change anyway so why waste time with letters?

It's something I've been thinking about for a while so it's interesting that this is happening.

 

I personally feel that if we get despondent it definitely won't facilitate change. We have first hand experience of the impact of backlogs, and our views matter. USCIS's directive is service-oriented - i.e. we pay a fee for a service. They have the monopoly on this service. It's not like we can take our fee elsewhere for that service. If there are backlogs then they should hire more people, paid for from the extra income they have already received from applicants, not asking to divert funds to another department. 

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7 minutes ago, fip & jim said:

It's something I've been thinking about for a while so it's interesting that this is happening.

 

I personally feel that if we get despondent it definitely won't facilitate change. We have first hand experience of the impact of backlogs, and our views matter. USCIS's directive is service-oriented - i.e. we pay a fee for a service. They have the monopoly on this service. It's not like we can take our fee elsewhere for that service. If there are backlogs then they should hire more people, paid for from the extra income they have already received from applicants, not asking to divert funds to another department. 

Yes I totally agree with you.  I went through this same process (CR-1/IR-1) 30 years ago and paid much less in fees and it only took two months from petition filing to visa approval, same laws, same process...  This time it will be at least a year, we're currently waiting for my husband's interview date in Rio.   So yes, I will write some letters.  I am a business school dean so maybe the politicians will notice.  I can make it thoughtful and professional with specific suggestions, send it to both state senators, my member of congress, friends I know in Washington DC, everyone I can think of, with firsthand knowledge of how this process feels from the petitioner's point of view, the US citizen, the one paying all the fees and the pain of how long it takes now.  Something's got to change and if we say nothing the chances for change are basically zero.    Maybe if we all flood the politicians' mailboxes with letters, something will happen.  I know that after I wrote some strongly-worded letters about the disastrous DMVs here in California, that they fired the head of the agency and made some big changes that helped a lot.  Whether my letter had any impact or not I'll never know, but hundreds, thousands, of letters might make a difference.  Let's give it a try.  I will write my letter after my husband gets here to the US and send it off, and post a copy here on VJ, maybe it will motivate others to do the same.  Thanks for the encouragement!

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13 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

Maybe if we all flood the politicians' mailboxes with letters, something will happen.  I know that after I wrote some strongly-worded letters about the disastrous DMVs here in California, that they fired the head of the agency and made some big changes that helped a lot.  Whether my letter had any impact or not I'll never know, but hundreds, thousands, of letters might make a difference.  Let's give it a try.  I will write my letter after my husband gets here to the US and send it off, and post a copy here on VJ, maybe it will motivate others to do the same.  Thanks for the encouragement!

That's the spirit!

 

I don't know if there are online petitions out there, I've only been tentatively looking so far. Now I have my green card it's freed up some mental energy and I also want to help bring about change. 

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4 hours ago, fip & jim said:

That's the spirit!

 

I don't know if there are online petitions out there, I've only been tentatively looking so far. Now I have my green card it's freed up some mental energy and I also want to help bring about change. 

I just did a quick check and there are a ton of online petitions at change.org, most for specific cases involving USCIS.  Online petitions have become so widespread, it may have a greater impact to do a traditional letter-writing campaign.  Thousands of letters piling up on the desks of politicians in Washington DC may at least get their attention, and that would be a start.

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Back 11 years ago, my then-Congressman's immigration liaison described USCIS to me as "our VERY worst" Federal agency. It has not improved since then.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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