The Obama administration has de-emphasized the processing of certain legal immigrants to allow resources for approving applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to a new report.
An analysis of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) document provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted by Center for Immigration Studies Jessica Vaughan reveals which immigrants are receiving special attention during the DACA workload increase and which are seeing their wait times increase.
“Whenever USCIS receives a sudden increase in workload, a detailed analysis of the services requested is performed,” Vauahan quotes the USCIS document. “Considering the need to provide special emphasis to certain form types, USCIS is able to make initial risk-based resource allocation decisions so that all USCIS customers are given the attention and service they deserve.”
Vaughan points out that, based on a chart USCIS included, certain immigrants — including illegal immigrants applications for deferred status — receive “special emphasis” during the workload increase. Such immigrants include:
*Employers asking for temporary workers (with or without paying the premium processing fee)
*Applicants for Advance Parole (a travel document only needed by illegal aliens with temporary status)
*Refugees needing a travel document
*Employers sponsoring immigrant workers
*U.S. parents adopting children from overseas
*Applicants for work permits (DACA applicants, illegal aliens, and temporary visitors [http://cis.org/government-data-reveal-millions-of-new-work-permits])
*Military naturalization applicants
While such immigrant applications are granted special emphasis, Vaughan highlights, that other are experiencing longer wait times.
“They included all family-based immigrant petitions and applications, refugee and asylee green cards, relatives of refugees and asylees, applicants for temporary protected status, victims of human trafficking, crime victims, immigrants seeking to naturalize, and anyone needing a replacement document,” Vaughan wrote.
She notes that for family petitions and applications in 2013, in some areas of the U.S., were about threes times the USCIS’ goal wait time of five months.
“By the end of June 2013, USCIS reported that there were 853,737 family petitions stacked up awaiting adjudication,” she wrote. “Meanwhile, the DACA program was chugging along, approving approximately 40,000 applications per month, with typical waiting times of two to four months. In 2013 alone USCIS processed more than 480,000 DACA applications.”