Recently, the USCIS conducted a survey of more than 5,000 “stakeholders” (folks who care about and participate in the U.S. immigration system in some way). These stakeholders were asked to identify the key areas of concern for them. The USCIS has now released its initial report from this survey, identifying the areas of concern most frequently raised by stakeholders. The report is enlightening.
This initial report lists the following areas of concern, in order, that USCIS will address:
- National Customer Service Center
- Nonimmigrant H-1B (specialty occupations)
- Employment-Based Adjustment of Status
- Family-Based Adjustment of Status
- Employment-Based Immigrants Preference Categories 1, 2 (priority workers, professionals and holders of advanced degrees) and 3 (skilled workers and professionals)
- Refugee and Asylum Adjustment of Status
- Form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility)
- General Humanitarian Programs
- Employment Authorization and Travel Documents
The USCIS has committed to:
convene working groups to review each of the issue areas. Leaders from across USCIS will join analysts, adjudicators and customer service representatives in examining policy and instructional documents that guide our work. USCIS will follow the federal rulemaking process whenever appropriate, and once approved, new policies will be available electronically.
While it is all well and good to internally review and examine policies and procedures, isn’t that the source of the problems with these listed areas of concern? After all the biggest problem identified by stakeholders is the Customer Service it offers!! I challenge the USCIS to involve stakeholders in these working groups so that not only are real concerns voiced, but solutions can be discussed in an open forum, generating more and better ideas than have been coming out of USCIS since its formation. Making stakeholders and customers wait to comment on “”possible” internally generated changes until “potential” federal regulations are published (comments which are frequently ignored by USCIS in the rulemaking process) is more of the same old way of doing business.
Director Mayorkas should follow the promise President Obama made shortly after he entered office to make the internal decision making process more open and transparent. Enough of internal working groups. Let’s really fix these problems. Together.