USCIS – Evidence of Improper Influence over Visa Policy??

After statements made by immigration officers were released, that claimed there is an increasing amount of pressure on employees of US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to approve more visas even when there is suspicion of fraud, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA ) asked the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Inspector General on October 15 to investigate. Agency insiders have continued to come forward and provide evidence that suggests USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas is responsible for the encouragement to approve as many visas as possible in the California Service Center. Senator Grassley first began looking into USCIS’s practices when accusations arose that supervisors told employees “to find a way” to approve applications. Grassley says his main concern and reason behind brining this issue to attention is to ensure that, “the rule of law isn’t being undermined by political leaders.”

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) writer David Leopold posted an article on AILA’s blog October 18th in response to Senator Grassley’s proposal for investigation into UCIS’s practices. Leopold argues against the legitimacy of Grassley’s information, citing the fact that the allegations have only been brought by a small group of insiders. Leopold offers a solution to Grassley’s upset, suggesting he submit his own petition to USCIS in order to get a better picture of USCIS’s visa approval procedures. According to Leopold, what Grassley fails to understand about USCIS’s policy of “finding a way” is that the USCIS officers must find the applicant eligible by a “preponderance of evidence.” The applicants must be able to prove the warranting of a visa. He goes on further to say USCIS is in reality far stricter on applicants than Grassley is aware of, he mentions the denial of many visa applicants as a result of flawed assessment by USCIS officers.