Immigration to the US has become a difficult task for people from across the world under the Trump administration.
It seems like the government is trying to make immigration more difficult with more restrictions and regulations put in place.
It is a common practice among the Congress members to help immigrants deal with the government when they face any difficulty while applying for green card or citizenship. But, Daily Beast reported that it will become a hard task for the Congress members to help immigrants as the government is going to put new restrictions in the process.
According to the report, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will demand additional forms, certified translations and notarized signatures from people while applying for green card or citizenship.
This was revealed in an email sent by the agency to the congressional staffers on December 18.
Advocacy groups have raised their voice against the move by the agency saying that the administration is trying to put more restrictions in place. Rejecting the allegations, the USCIS said that the move is to protect the privacy of the applicants.
When immigrants need help, they approach the Congress members and in some cases, they sign privacy waivers enabling their congressional office to reach out to USCIS on their behalf and report back to them.
But, when the new restrictions come into effect, it will increase the paperwork of the congressional office ultimately leading to a slowdown in the green card processing.
The mail sent by Ronald Atkinson, the acting chief of USCIS’ legislative affairs office, has stated that the privacy waivers would be accepted by the USCIS only if the following requirements are met:
-Contains a handwritten and notarized signature or signature made under penalty of perjury by the subject of the records, even if outside the United States. (Digital signatures are not acceptable.)
-Names only the congressional office as the authorized recipient.
-Includes a full translation of any non-English text, as well as the translator’s certification of competence to translate from the foreign language into English.
-Is newly signed and dated for a follow-up question or status update request after the initial/previous inquiry received a meaningful and accurate response and has been closed for 30 days.
Atkinson has said that the move is to “help both USCIS and Congress handle inquiries in a more efficient and effective manner, while also protecting sensitive information.”
But, activists and advocacy groups allege that the agency is trying to put additional restrictions for making the process difficult in the pretext of protecting the interests of the applicants.
“[This] is nothing more than an unnecessary bureaucratic roadblock placed in the way of constituents seeking the assistance of their congressional representatives to cut through USCIS red tape,” David Leopold, an immigration attorney, was quoted as saying by the Daily Beast.