DHS to Furlough 15,000 Employees

About 15,000 Homeland Security Department employees will receive reduction-in-force notices this week.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will send reduction-in-force (RIF) notices to about three-quarters of its employees starting on or around June 19.  USCIS is expected to extend the furloughs in 30-day increments until it either receives an appropriation from Congress or it can collect additional money through a fee increase. The furlough notices are expected throughout the ranks of USCIS.

Officials at USCIS, a fee-funded agency, claim that a significant drop off in application receipts due to the novel coronavirus pandemic has led to an unexpected loss in revenue, potentially leaving the agency unable to meet payroll. USCIS is asking Congress for a $1.2 billion cash injection to help offset the losses and permission for a 10% increase its fees to reimburse the appropriation.

USCIS Management has estimated it will run out of funds to operate normally on July 20, and will begin notifying employees 30 days prior to that date as required by law.