Immigrants Wail and Moan: Won’t Be Able to Vote this Year

And, that is because the Chinese virus has slowed all government functions including those at the USCIS!

From Roll Call:

Citizenship delays may keep many immigrants from fall vote

Pandemic postpones naturalization interviews and ceremonies, adding to a backlog already worsened by budget woes

(I’m going to start my snips with these few paragraphs at the end of this story because it infuriated me!  If we have so much racial injustice and discrimination here, then just go home to India!)

Reeti Ghosh, an immigrant from India, started her naturalization process more than a year ago. She looked forward to finally voting, which she viewed as an opportunity to speak up about the racial injustice she witnessed in the country and even discriminatory behavior she felt locally, in her New Jersey community.

She was scheduled to take her civics test in April, but the pandemic canceled the appointment. Despite repeated attempts by her lawyer to reschedule, she has yet to hear back from USCIS with a new date.

“I really feel frustrated and honestly I can’t wait for this process to be done and over with,” she said. “It’s just the uncertainty. It is like a time bomb ticking. … You’re just really waiting for things to happen and just waiting there for no real reason.”

So boo-hoo, wait until the next election or go home and ‘fix’ India’s discrimination!

Now here is more of the story:

When Juliana Ximenes Coutinho Dias submitted her naturalization application last December, the possibility of finally becoming a U.S. citizen and getting to vote in the country she has called home for the past six years electrified the Brazil native.

But then the coronavirus pandemic hit. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which adjudicates immigration benefits and visas, shut down its field offices. It also postponed naturalization interviews and ceremonies, adding to a backlog worsened by budget woes and threatening to prevent hundreds of thousands of would-be citizens from registering in time to vote this November.

[….]

Hetlage [USCIS spokesman Dan Hetlage ]said the agency is on pace to naturalize approximately 600,000 new citizens by the end of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. But that’s nearly 30 percent lower than the previous year when 834,000 new citizens were sworn in, the highest number in 11 years, according to USCIS.

[….]

Naturalizations tend to spike in an election year and drop right after. Before the pandemic, the National Partnership of New Americans, a coalition of state, federal and local organizations that help new citizens register to vote, estimated that 860,000 people were scheduled to become U.S. citizens by the end of the year.

More than 23 million U.S. citizens who were born abroad could be part of the overall electorate this fall, according to a Pew Research Center analysis released earlier this year. That’s about 1 in 10 Americans, a record high.

In fact, the number of new citizens since the last election alone exceeds Trump’s margin of victory in Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan combined, and has made up substantial portions of the growth in each state’s eligible voters since 2016.

More here.

See that I have a tag for the National Partnership for New Americans.

As Immigration Slows due to Chinese Virus, Federal Employees at USCIS Could be Furloughed

“These are good-paying jobs, these are federal employees with good health insurance, good salaries and good retirement benefits. This is not like losing a low wage job.”

(Gabriel Pedreira, regional union organizer for the American Federation of Government Employees)

 

That is if Congress doesn’t move swiftly to bail out the agency that processes applications for citizenship among other things.

The Dems must be going nuts because this is just the season when their push to get more Democrat voters through the citizenship process in time for the November election is usually in full swing.

The story is from the Vermont Digger, a publication I highly recommend to readers interested in what is happening in the people’s republic of Vermont.  (Hat tip: Brenda)

Vermont USCIS employees face furlough due to budget shortfall

 

Thousands of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees across the country, including some based in Vermont, may be furloughed next month due to a shortfall in the federal agency’s budget.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a “dramatic” decrease in revenue the agency relies on, generated by applications and petitions related to citizenship, according to a USCIS spokesperson. In response, 13,400 USCIS employees nationwide may be furloughed as a cost-saving measure.

Vermont is home to one of five USCIS service centers that are responsible for processing millions of citizenship applications, according to a 2017 report to Congress. The agency employees people primarily in St. Albans and Essex.

During the 2016 fiscal year of the five service centers, Vermont’s had both the highest allowed employee spots of 1,021 and the highest number of working staff of 959 employees.

Union organizer Pedreira

Gabriel Pedreira, a regional organizer for the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents USCIS employees said the situation for Vermont is particularly dire.

[….]

According to the USCIS spokesperson, the shortfall is due to a projected drop of 61% in citizenship applications and petitions through the end of the 2020 fiscal year.

[….]

Cross-border travel into the United States has slowed drastically during the Covid-19 crisis, as travel restrictions have been imposed — including the partial closure of the U.S.-Canada border.

[….]

Pedreira said in a time of economic decline in the United States, the loss of pay for USCIS employees affects more than just those workers — it affects the entire economy.

“These are good-paying jobs, these are federal employees with good health insurance, good salaries and good retirement benefits. This is not like losing a low wage job,” Pedreira said. “So these are employees who because they make a good salary contribute to the local economy.”

Who cares about the rest of you low wage nonessential workers hurt by the Chinese Virus—these are good jobs!

Continue reading here and see that the old curmudgeon Senator Patrick Leahy is on the case.

 

Feds Streamline Immigration Fraud Reporting Procedure

NumbersUSA alerted its members last week to a new system at the USCIS for citizens to report fraud.  Thanks to reader Michael for telling me about it.

USCIS Launches New Online Form for Reporting Fraud

 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has launched a new online tip form to help the public provide the agency with information about immigration fraud. The new online form, available on the USCIS public website, prompts the user for the information that the USCIS’ fraud investigators need to investigate allegations of immigration benefit fraud or abuse.

See that USCIS had previously provided e-mail addresses to report fraud, but will be phasing those out.

The new online tip form collects information related to the relevant fraud, identifies the type of benefit in question and provides space for the user to describe the alleged fraud or abuse in additional detail.

This online form streamlines fraud reporting by replacing three email boxes USCIS now uses for fraud and abuse reporting. The tip form will make the tip process more effective and efficient. Every day, well-intentioned people try to report immigration fraud or abuse to USCIS, but our USCIS’s internal procedures did not allow for a consistent and timely way to respond.

More here.

Marriage fraud, such as I reported in my previous post today, would be something you could report through this new system.  See USCIS list.