Integrity Legal

2nd March 2010

Recently, the Immigration Policy Center issued a so-called progress report for the Department of Homeland Security. For regular readers of this blog it may be recalled that the Department of Homeland Security has jurisdiction over the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP) as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). To quote the Immigration policy center blog:

“The month of March marks the seventh anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its immigration agencies. It also marks the end of a sweeping internal review ordered by Secretary Janet Napolitano, a review which as not been made public. In order to assess the first year of immigration policy under the Obama Administration, the Immigration Policy Center releases the following Special Report which compare DHS’s actions with the recommendations (Transition Blueprint) made to the Obama Transition Team’s immigration-policy group. How does DHS stack up? The following IPC report finds a department caught between the competing priorities of old broken policy and new reforms. While DHS has failed to meet key expectations in some areas, it has engaged thoughtfully and strategically in others, and has made some fundamental changes in how it conducts its immigration business.”

The report itself is quite long and provides detailed information about ways in which USCIS and DHS can improve their organization. One of the most interesting recommendations calls for a concerted plan for integrated immigrants into the tapestry of American life. To quote the report directly:

“The Administration should create a national integration strategy, establish a National Office on Immigrant Integration, and gather data on the impact of government policies on immigrants, and coordinate agency decisions that affect them.”

This report went further and advocated for certain changes in the way that USCIS handles adjudications of applications and petitions for Immigration benefits:

“USCIS must clearly articulate the principles it uses to evaluate and adjudicate individual cases, and must address the complaints of recent years that too many people are denied benefits, or subjected to repeated requests for additional evidence, because adjudicators are looking for reasons to deny rather than grant benefits. Fee waivers and discretionary waivers should be applied more broadly, particularly where individuals in proceedings have immediate family members who are U.S. citizens.”

Although this author does not necessarily agree wholeheartedly with all of the assertions in this progress report, there is no doubt that there is room for improvement in any organization and the Department of Homeland Security is no different. That being said, it is a tremendous task to ascertain where resources are most needed and allocate them accordingly. Therefore, we applaud the Department’s efforts at improve the system while encouraging DHS to continue to strive for greater efficiency tempered with a respect for the due process rights of all concerned.

For more information on this and other topics related to American Immigration please see: US Visa Thailand or K1 Visa Thailand.


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