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Congress Questions USCIS on Spike in Denials and Increasing Delays

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship questioned United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials about backlogs and changes in adjudication of petitions within the department at a July 16 House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing.

The hearing marks the most pointed criticism from the Judiciary Committee in recent memory, and coupled with a recent case in U.S. District Court, the proceedings could turn an eye toward USCIS practices under the Trump Administration.

Under President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative, H-1B denials have increased every year since 2015. A National Foundation for American Policy report shows denial rates for new H-1B petitions of 32% in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2019 – up from 6% in FY 2015. The increases are not the result of changes in the existing law, rather in memorandums from the Trump Administration regarding how existing law should be enforced.

While we work diligently to ensure our clients put their best cases forward to USCIS, we hope increased scrutiny on USCIS delays, RFEs and petition denials will put an end to arbitrary backlogs and adjudications. The businesses we serve need reliable avenues to bring in highly skilled foreign workers, and the people we represent deserve better.

We are proud to be advocates and trusted counsel in the immigration process, and thank our clients for the opportunity to serve.