USCIS operations are mostly funded by applicants and petitioners’ fees, with the drop in applications that start in March and has continued until their reopening in June. The drop-in fees are mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused the USCIS facilities closures! USCIS Deputy Director, Joseph Edlow released a statement on USCIS fiscal outlook:
“The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are long reaching and pervasive, leaving few unscathed in its wake. USCIS is still experiencing those very effects, which began with an alarming drop in applications at the end of March. Forecasts predict a crippling budget shortfall that requires assistance from Congress to allow USCIS to maintain current operations.
“Since May, USCIS has worked with Congress to explain the financial situation and educate members and staff on the needs of the agency. Recognizing the need to not let taxpayers carry this burden, USCIS’ proposal to Congress includes a requirement that any funding provided by Congress will be paid back to the U.S. Treasury. Both the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget have written to Congress supporting this proposal. Without congressional action before August 3, USCIS will need to furlough over 13,000 staff members, which will have tremendous negative impacts on our mission administering our nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity, and protecting the American people. We urge Congress to provide the funding needed to pay our dedicated staff and ensure our operations continue uninterrupted during these unprecedented times.”