USCIS Processing Delays Have Now Hit Crisis-Levels

New policies at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are restricting legal immigration. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) conducted an analysis of and reported on recently published USCIS data revealing crisis-level delays in the agency's processing of applications and petitions for immigration benefits under the Trump administration. For example, one policy requires USCIS officers to conduct duplicate reviews of past decisions, adding unnecessary work to each case.  Such inefficient policies help explain why processing times are increasing even as USCIS application rates are decreasing. Recent USCIS data shows that USCIS’s average processing time rose by 19 percent from FY2017 to FY2018, even while overall numbers of case receipts declined by 13 percent during that same period. On February 12, 2019, members of Congress cited this AILA report in a letter to USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna to highlight the impact of the agency's processing delays on families, U.S. businesses, and vulnerable populations.