USCIS starts sending furlough notices
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Jun 24, 2020
Officials with the American Federation of Government Employees said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service told them Tuesday that notices of potential furloughs will be sent to USCIS employees between Wednesday and July 3, the Washington Post reported. Furloughs would start Aug. 3.
In June 16 testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, Management and Accountability, AFGE National President Everett Kelley warned that unless USCIS received an emergency supplemental appropriation of $1.2 billion, over 70% of agency employees would be furloughed.
USCIS relies on fees generated by immigration and naturalization services, which have slowed to a trickle during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We got the distinct impression that they didn’t want to do the furloughs but if they didn’t get money from Congress they’re going to have to,” Danielle Spooner, president of AFGE Council 119, told the Washington Post.
Hints of potential furloughs surfaced in mid-May when Joseph Edlow, the acting head of USCIS, emailed employees telling them that USCIS “will exhaust its funding this summer, and without congressional intervention, we risk not being able to make payroll and will have to take drastic actions to keep the agency afloat.”
According to the Washington Post, the Office of Management and Budget recently alerted Congress to the fact that USCIS does not have sufficient funding for the rest of this year and the first quarter of 2021, but did not include details for a budget supplement, making it difficult for Congress to address the agency’s budget shortfall.
“The threatened furloughs at USCIS would be the most extensive in the federal workforce since mid-2013, when numerous agencies put some employees in unpaid status for several days scattered over the summer because of ‘sequestration’ budget limits,” the article said.