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WASHINGTON, D.C— Yesterday, a letter led by the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), NALEO Educational Fund, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), and more than 87 undersigned organizations has been sent to the House Appropriations Committees urging the inclusion of $500 million in funding for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) backlog reduction efforts in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. An additional $100 million is requested to meet USCIS’s goals of creating more modern and efficient case processing. 

Reaching unprecedented levels, the net backlog of cases before USCIS now exceeds 4 million. For instance, the median processing times for family petitions and U nonimmigrant visas were 33 months and 52 months, respectively, in FY 2023. These growing delays and backlogs cause instability and insecurity for millions of immigrant families throughout the country. They also cause serious harm to our nation’s economy as employers and entrepreneurs face challenges in effectively planning and operating their businesses due to uncertainty surrounding the status of immigration applications affecting their workforce. Providing USCIS with adequate backlog reduction funding could help remedy these problems.

“These significant backlogs have a detrimental impact on individuals and families awaiting immigration benefits, emphasizing the urgent need for the allocation of funds to address these delays in immigration cases, including asylum and work permit adjudication… Congressional support for all of these activities is of vital importance to applicants and their families, and business across the United States. It is also a needed investment to modernize how USCIS provides immigration services,” wrote the letter’s undersigned.

Read the complete letter and list of signatories here.   

“As the backlog of immigration cases continues to swell, it’s imperative that we prioritize efficient and humane solutions. The current delays not only affect individuals and families eagerly awaiting resolution, but also ripple through communities and impact our nation’s economy. Adequate funding for USCIS is not just a matter of administrative efficiency; it’s a matter of compassion and practicality,” said Nicole Melaku, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans. “We urge Congress to heed the call of those affected and allocate the necessary resources to address these pressing issues. Let’s choose a path of compassion and efficiency, aligning with the values of communities across our nation.”

“While USCIS has made some progress toward alleviating the burden of the backlog across applications, four million cases are still pending,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). “Four million individuals are vulnerable in their communities as they await a life without fear. Four million individuals are suffering undue harm from unreasonably long processing times. Having the House Appropriations Committees commit to including this funding will be life changing for millions.”

Arturo Vargas, CEO of NALEO Educational Fund stated, “Because of past Congressional appropriations, USCIS has made significant progress in reducing naturalization application backlogs by hiring more personnel and enhancing electronic case processing. Congress must provide robust resources in FY 2025 for the agency to continue this progress, and address the serious delays in other immigration services. These appropriations will confer great benefits on our nation as a whole through a more prosperous economy, a more vital democracy, and more efficient and cost-effective government operations.”

The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a multi-ethnic, multiracial coalition of 70 of the nation’s largest immigrant and refugee rights organizations with reach across over 40 states. Together with our members, we advance immigrant and refugee equity and inclusion, build and expand immigration legal services and integration programming capacity, and drive campaigns that strengthen democracy through increased civic participation. See our website for more information at