If President Barack Obama’s immigration plan gets past a federal court injunction, and if 60 percent of illegals apply for deferred action protection under the plan, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency projects that it may have to hire an additional 3,100 employees, with a total program cost of up to $484 million a year.
In a detailed response to questions from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee about the cost of processing the illegals at a newly rented facility in Arlington, Va., the USCIS said “planning was based on the assumption that 60 percent of all individuals who may be considered for DACA or DAPA would elect to file a request.” (See Responses to Questions from Grassley-Johnson-Sessions 02.26.15 (3).pdf)
“Should that initial planning estimate hold true and the injunction were lifted, USCIS might ultimately need to increase its hiring plan up to a total of 3,100 new employees at an annual cost of $184.3 million, and total program costs of between $324 and $484 million per year,” said the agency in its response to Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
The USCIS is the agency responsible for managing legal immigration to the United States. The president’s executive actions – Deferred Action to Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) – will raise costs for the USCIS as it seeks to process illegal immigrants on top of its regular work.