Is USCIS only after my money?
Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego and Washington. In today's video we're going to answer a question from someone on our YouTube comments. They were wondering, "Jim, are all these cases being denied because they just want our money and they want to make more money off the appeals or off the refilings?"
I think it's an interesting question. I don't necessarily think that that's true though. The truth is that a lot of cases get approved. The vast majority of cases get approved. So I don't think that USCIS is thinking about balancing its budget on the backs of denials. But I do think that fees are always going up. The cost of applying for an immigration benefit is always increasing. And USCIS is largely self-funded. They don't get a ton of money from Congress. Most of the operating budget for USCIS is generated by the filing fees. And of course, when Trump was in office, he took a lot of that money that USCIS made off its filing fees, and started using it for his dumb projects, like that wall down on the Mexican border, and funding ICE, and moving resources to all of those fraud units, his citizenship-stripping units, and all these other things.
Obviously money is important, money makes the world go round. The government is certainly cognizant of the fact that you have to pay for these immigration benefits. I don't think that they're out there trying to deny cases because of the economic gain, but it can't be ignored. Obviously when they do deny cases, they are forcing people to spend more money, spend more money on lawyers, spend more money on filing fees. And that sort of keeps things going, keeps the agency going.
But at the end of the day, they have lots of reasons why they like to deny them. Mostly because I think they're just walking around thinking that everybody's lying to them and thinking that every immigrant is a fraud and is trying to take advantage of the agency. I think that's the much bigger issue. It's this mindset that immigrants are liars and they're just trying to take, take, take. When in fact, it's USCIS who is take, take, taking your filing fees and then doing what they want. You know, it's almost impossible to get a refund from USCIS when they make a mistake. You can't do it. I've seen cases where people try to get refunds or try to withdraw a case and get their money back, and that's virtually impossible. So money is certainly an issue. Their budget is tied to that filing fee, but I don't think at the end of the day that they're denying cases just to make more money on appeals or on a new refilings.
Hope this answers the question. Hope you're doing well. And I hope that if you have an immigration case and you need our help, that you'll think about giving us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us [email protected]. You can join us in our Facebook group, it's called Immigrant Home. We'd love to have you in there. Then of course we have our YouTube channel, which we add a new video to every single day. We'd love to have you join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon Central Time, where I'll answer as many of your immigration law-related questions as possible in just one hour.
Thanks a lot. Have a great day.