The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a new report examining U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) efforts to reduce its pending caseload, which has increased by 85% in recent years. The GAO noted that policy changes, longer forms, staffing issues, and delays from COVID-19 have all contributed to longer processing times. The GAO found that although USCIS has several plans to address the backlog, it has not implemented them and has not identified necessary resources to address its pending caseload.
The GAO concluded, among other things, that developing a strategic workforce plan “would better position USCIS to address long-term workforce challenges and reduce its growing pending caseload.” USCIS has not implemented or updated its plans to reduce its caseload to reflect the funding and other resources needed to address the pending caseload, the GAO said: “Identifying the resources necessary to address its pending caseload and providing the estimates to the Office of Management and Budget and Congress would better inform them about USCIS’s resource needs.”