The Case Backlog Transparency and Accountability Act Has Been Reintroduced To Congress

Accountability Act
November 20, 2022

California Congressman, Tony Cardenas, has reintroduced the Case Backlog Transparency and Accountability Act. This case will address the large case backlogs at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The bill would also establish new reporting requirements for the USCIS and the Government Accounting Office (GAO). Furthermore, this case would determine why there are processing delays and find possible solutions to reduce the backlog of immigration cases.

Congressman Cardenas has stated that the severe backlogs at the USCIS leave many people in limbo. According to Cardenas’s statement, many families in his district wait weeks, months, or years without having their cases resolved or even getting an update. He says this is unfair and that people deserve to know “that their cases are being handled fairly and timely.” He also claimed that a reporting system would increase transparency and help the USCIS find what is causing the processing delays.

According to the USCIS’s data, processing times are increasing. This increase leaves applicants waiting for decisions for more than seven months for most types of applications for immigration benefits.

Case Backlog Transparency and Accountability Act

The Case Backlog Transparency and Accountability Act:

  • “Establishes quarterly backlog reporting requirements. At the end of each of the first three quarters of the fiscal year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must publish on its website and submit a report on the case backlog to designated Congressional committees. The quarterly report must:
  • Identify the number of pending immigration benefit applications, the net backlog, and the gross backlog;
  • Describe the active suspense categories and the number of cases pending in each category; and
  • List the average processing time for each type of immigration benefit application, along with any change in that time relative to the prior quarter.
  • Establishes a biennial GAO report featuring:
  • Analysis of factors contributing to the case backlog, including an assessment of the impact of the agency’s policies on processing times
  • An assessment of USCIS procedures for measuring the impact of its policies on processing times
  • An evaluation of USCIS’s efforts to eliminate the backlog and to ensure accurate and consistent adjudications
  • Recommendations for more expeditiously processing cases
  • Ensures that USCIS and GAO publish these reports on their websites.”

It remains uncertain whether the bill will pass, but it may help many businesses retain valuable employees if it does.

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