With a breakdown in talks on the latest COVID-19 stimulus package and with most senators and representatives out of town (though the House has been recalled from vacation to address the U.S. Postal Service crisis), USCIS has not received the $1.2 billion that it wants and says it needs to avoid furloughing two-thirds of its workforce. Unless talks pick up again, USCIS plans to furlough 13,400 of its 20,000 workers as of August 30, 2020.

The agency, which is already plagued by long processing delays and ever-increasing backlogs, would be severely hampered, if not effectively shut down, by the furlough.

In the background, Congressional staffers have indicated that, at this point, there is “no Plan B,” but that a break may come in terms of appropriations when Congress gathers again in September.

In the meantime, the hope is that USCIS will again push the furlough down the road. This should be possible since it was discovered that, in July, USCIS actually had a surplus of approximately $121 million and that it needs the bailout for FY 2021, which does not begin until October 1, 2020.

Not only would the furlough devastate USCIS and possibly irreparably harm foreign nationals and the businesses that rely on its services, but it would also harm local economies and create even more unemployment during the COVID-19 national crisis.

Jackson Lewis attorneys will continue to follow the progress of any negotiations and provide updates as they become available.

Print:
EmailTweetLikeLinkedIn
Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.