According to sources and documents acquired by The Washington Post, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be forming a new internal division that will closely monitor the agency’s caseworkers in an effort to crack down on agents who may be too lenient toward immigrants applying for permanent residency or citizenship.
The reports show that federal agency in charge of the U.S. immigration system has not fully disclosed plans of the new division to its more than 19,000 employees and contractors. They have, however, been discreetly reassigning personnel to staff the division, according to agency insiders who shared what they know with The Washington Post on the condition that they remain anonymous.
It’s no secret that undocumented immigration has been a centerpiece of the Trump campaign. But the President isn’t just against unlawful immigration, he has also pushed for tighter regulations on legal immigration.
Most recently, President Trump pledged to terminate “chain migration,” an immigration practice that has brought thousands of immigrant families together and was the core principle of the U.S. immigration system for decades. USCIS and its director, L. Francis Cissna, have been the President’s main collaborators in ending the practice.
According to the documents acquired by The Post, the “Organization of Professional Responsibility” will oversee how caseworkers and other agents deal with the immigration agency’s massive 26,000 daily caseload. It will also allow the USCIS to focus on integrity management more effectively and efficiently.
Furthermore, the internal affairs division will be divided into three smaller divisions, with one reportedly called the “Investigations Division,” whose mandate is to “manage the agency’s program that investigates cases involving fraud, waste, abuse or misconduct by USCIS employees.”
USCIS employees who are aware of the agency’s plans claim the new office is a crackdown on employees who are suspected to be too lenient toward individuals applying for citizenship or permanent legal residence, even if these people have demerits including misdemeanor charges or have been benefiting from welfare.
USCIS officials confirmed the reports on plans for the creation of an internal affairs office but assured the public that they have yet to arrive at a final decision.
And according to USCIS spokesman Jonathan Withington, USCIS is not creating an internal division to closely monitor employees who are supposedly too relaxed when adjudicating immigration benefit requests.
Should the reports from USCIS insiders be true, it would mean that applicants going through the legal immigration system can expect to have to jump through more hoops just to have their applications considered.
If you, or a loved one, are concerned about this development and what it means for the already slow immigration process, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm. Contact our offices to schedule a consultation with Austin immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle.