Are you still waiting for your green card to be approved? Or getting increasingly frustrated at filling out mounds of immigration forms? Now is your chance to make your voice heard. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is seeking input from the public on how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can improve and reduce barriers to its immigration services and benefits.
DHS published the request in the Federal Register, appealing particularly to those applying for adjustment of status, naturalization, H-1B work visas, refugee status, asylum, and parole.
The department said in a statement that the goal was to “promote equity, above all by reducing administrative burdens, undue complexity, unnecessary confusion, and processing and waiting times,” adding “the department requests feedback about any regulations or processes that disproportionately burden disadvantaged, vulnerable, or marginalized communities.”
USCIS will use the feedback to improve its processes and offer more efficient services to would-be immigrants. The move is part of a larger effort to fulfill President’s Biden’s executive order to reshape the U.S. legal immigration system.
How do I submit a comment?
To submit a comment, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal (docket number USCIS-2021-0004) and follow the instructions. The deadline for adding a comment is on or before May 19, 2021. USCIS said it will likely not review comments sent via email or letter.
Doug Rand, Boundless cofounder and immigration policy expert, offers some tips for submitting a compelling comment:
- Be specific. “Even if you’re not an expert on the inner workings of the immigration system, it’s helpful to get as specific as you can: ‘I urge you to solve problem X, to achieve positive result Y, by changing Z about the status quo,'” said Rand.
- If you’re an individual with firsthand experience of the legal immigration system, “don’t be intimidated,” said Rand. “Just be clear and specific about what changes you most want to see at USCIS, and why this matters to you.”
- If you’re an advocacy organization with a lot of expertise, consider “highlighting which of your recommendations are the very highest-impact/highest-priority for your stakeholders.”