Leahy Calls On USCIS To Delay Furlough Of 13,000 Dedicated Public Servants In Midst Of Pandemic

(TUESDAY, Aug. 18, 2020) -- Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday called on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to further delay the agency’s scheduled furlough of 13,000 public servants from August 30 to the end of the fiscal year.

Leahy wrote:  “To put it more plainly, USCIS could pay all of its staff through the end of the fiscal year, avoid furloughs entirely, and still end the fiscal year with a sizeable carryover balance.”

In May, USCIS projected a shortfall in fiscal year 2020 of $571 million.  However, revised estimates project a surplus of more than $230 million, giving USCIS ample funding to end the fiscal year without furloughing any public servants. 

Leahy has pointed out that needlessly moving forward with the furlough would put thousands of dedicated public servants out of work at a time of record unemployment and in the middle of the pandemic.  This would have ripple effects on communities across the country.  Thousands of United States Citizens, employers, and students in Vermont and around the country rely on the work of USCIS and would be impacted by loss of services.

Leahy’s full letter is available here: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/download/uscis081820

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