Regular Applicants Subsidize Premium Processing
Two GAO reports from earlier this year show that USCIS's vaunted Premium Processing unit's services are subsidized by regular applicants who receive shoddy service. In other words the fees of regular applicants for USCIS's services are used to subsidize the cost of delivering faster services to premium processing applicants.
The first report "Immigration Application Fees" is critical of USCIS's accounting and is worth a read for those interested in immigration fee issues, but the second is the gold mine – it is titled "Federal User Fees". Here are pertinent quotes from this document:
the additional costs of premium processing services are funded by non-premium processing fee-paying applicants, raising equity concerns. Because USCIS has not identified the total costs of these services, the actual dollar amount being subsidized is unknown. (Federal User Fees at page 4; page 9 of 47 of the pdf file)
Further, Congress authorized USCIS to adjust the premium process fee according to the consumer price index but USCIS has not adjusted the fee since the fee's enactment. The additional collections that would result from an inflation adjustment could have been used to defray the costs of the premium processing service—currently born completely by non-premium processing customers—thereby limiting the amount of cross-subsidization by non-premium processing applicants. (Federal User Fees at page 32; page 37 of 47 of the pdf file)
USCIS's services are nothing to brag about, to put it mildly. On top of that, for the hundreds of thousands of regular applicants to find that their application fees are being used to process a minority of others' applications is adding insult to injury.
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DHS Announces New Memorandum Of Agreements For 287g Partnerships
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that ICE has standardized the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) used to enter into "287(g)" partnerships and also announced eleven new 287(g) agreements with law enforcement agencies from around the country.
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Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
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Court Backs Higher Bail On Illegal Aliens
Bail for illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes can be raised to prevent federal officials from deporting them before their cases can be heard, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
Illegal Immigrants Again In The Budget Spotlight
The economic downturn has activists pushing for a measure that would limit the services Californians provide.
Immigration Law Separates Minnesota Family
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The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is currently developing baseline targets for an enhanced PERM performance measure and a new PERM integrity measure (see 07/09/09 ID). These measures are scheduled for approval and implementation at the beginning of FY 2010- from page 15 where they say that only 11% of cases resolved within 6 months as of March 31st. When only 11% of labor certification cases are decided within six months, by DOL's own statistics, there is no PERM. This is the pre-PERM world in all but name. The whole purpose of PERM was to prevent the LC program from drowning by streamlined adjudication. That was the promise of PERM and why it came into being. That is gone with massive audits and supervised recruitment.
Gary Endelman, Esq. and Quynh Nguyen, Esq.
Editor's note: We would like to credit Gary Endelman, Esq. and Quynh Nguyen, Esq. for bringing the terrible PERM performance to our attention earlier this week (this is what triggered our comment of 07/09/09).
Letters from Mr. Murray and others have been upset with Mr. Yang's letters asserting that foreigners have a right to come here willy nilly regardless of the vagaries of US immigration law. I think the point Mr. Yang's letter is trying to make is that it is not morally right for the US to have DOL certification or any of the other laws that that restrict entry for reasons other than health or safety. When Mr. Yang's letter states, as on July 8th, the term "right" seems to be used in it's original philosophical/theological sense. Such a usage is as old-fashioned (and bracing) as his politics, so misunderstandings result. Unfortunately for his letter's position, the United States has become a welfare state and rent-seeking behavior designed to limit market entry and maximize various groups' share of the bounty of all sorts of government teats is a fact of life that makes Mr. Yang's letter's policy preferences something we can only work towards, not something that constitute a right in any legal or philosophical sense. The same geniuses that designed one of the world's most intrusive tax systems designed our immigration system. The same people we hope might rationalize immigration policies are presently adding curlicues to the regulatory edifice at a pace that would make both Bushes and Clinton rolled into one blush. I am not at all hopeful until I realize Carter started airline and telephone deregulation.
Honza Prchal, Esq.
Responding to 07/10/09 ID comment, abolish attorney fees that are more then the USCIS fees. This is the stupidest idea ever.
I am an American retired and living in Guatemala. The fees and and hostilities I have experienced at the U.S. Embassy here are outrageous (07/10/09 ID comment). I thought the taxes we paid were for Government services. The long lines every day of people wanting visas that cost $100 will more then pay the salaries of the Guatemalans empoloyed by the embassy and more then 90% are arbitrarilly denied and guess who keeps the money.
John J. Brannigan
If you are talking about $1000 premium procession fee, then how about for past 3 years I spend $10000.00 to apply for Green first step called PERM Labor, Advertisement for PERM, Layer fee, H1 extension fee, and my case is on audit for past 2 1/2 years (07/10/09 ID comment). It sound itself so stupid when all are saying Comprehensive immigration reform, for Illegal Immigrants to show some kind of path to become Legal, where Legal people are already waiting for 10-20 years to get green card, illegal immigrants push backlog to 100-120 years,, Guise what, then how will be legal here (only American Indians).
Immigration fees are outrageous compared to the service expected from those ridiculous amount of fees (07/10/09 ID comment). A friend of mine got a notice letter telling him that his naturalization interview has been postponed due to "unforeseen circumstances" without further detail and when he called USCIS 1800 numbers for customer service there's no quick and clear option to speak to a live customer service but boring recorded automated voice messages then he pushed phone buttons by accident then got connected to an outsourced USCIS customer service who had no clue about his application status nor could be more helpful about it. Unbelievable. After raising all immigration fees, it should be appropriate for USCIS to staff more reliable persons on customer service who have access to all information required by customers. It's the time that USCIS should treat all applicants, petitioners as its valued customers not an unwelcomed and unwanted burden since they have paid so much in this sloppy service. It's also very important to reform our immigration laws to be as simple, practical and fair as possible, without costly and bureaucratic red tapes.
I am Lions Club Internatial (NGO) Member Lion Khare Vijay G and practising Attorney (called Advocate) from Mumbai/Thane Dist.
I agree with ID's views for abolition or at least substantial reduction to immigration fees. I am a holder of USA visa Bi B2 for ten Years from 07 to 17 from India and am presently on my third visit to USA (07/10/09 ID comment).
Lion Khare V.G.
When I was issuing visas starting in 1981, it was $5 for the application and $20 for the immigrant visa (07/10/09 ID comment). Now, it's hundreds. I know of no other place in the government where fees have skyrocketed by this much. Eliminating the fees will also streamline the process at Embassies abroad by removing hundreds of thousands of these transactions.
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