USCIS sets ambitious hiring, processing goals to shrink massive immigration case backlog

The ombudsman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has one central focus of this year’s annual report to Congress: Reducing the backlog of immigration cases. As of March, there were nearly 5.2 million cases in the backlog, meaning cases sitting for than the target processing time. Some eight and a half million cases are actually pending. Even after hiring freezes ended and USCIS avoided furloughs during the pandemic, the agency still struggles to hire and train enough adjudicators to get through the stack of cases. The ombudsman held a call for public feedback last week. Federal News Network’s Amelia Brust listened in.