Go Ask Your Mother - DOS to USCIS


"Go ask your mother," is what Department of State has said to aspiring immigrants, referring them to USCIS to see whether the November visa bulletin will be honored or not.  This is an embarassing slap in the face to the immigration agency, and exposes infighting and lack of communication between the two agencies responsible for managing the legal immigration process.  

On Friday October 9, 2015, the State Department issued its November Visa Bulletin, the first after the October #Visagate2015 fiasco, and for the first time asked readers to look to the USCIS for answers as to whether the bulletin would be accepted.  While the October visa bulletin stated, "USCIS has determined that this chart may be used...this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS," the November bulletin in contrast stated, "Visit http://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used...this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS."  By sending immigrants over to USCIS, they're essentially saying, "Go ask your mother!"  Don't ask us whether it is ok or not, just ask USCIS.

USCIS, in turn, has not updated its website to indicate whether the November visa bulletin will be accepted.  This is embarassing.  If it was intentional, it is embarassing, and if it was negligent, it is embarassing.  How can our government operate in such a way, when the stakes are so high?  When the two agencies which oversee the orderly immigration process have decided to stop talking and coordinating, what can we come to expect?  Can we rely upon the representations made, or will we be left guessing?  What is Secretary of State John Kerry saying about all this, or Leon Rodriquez, the USCIS head?  One can only assume that the agencies have run amok, and are leaderless, scattered and divided.  That does not bode well for immigrants, their families, and the employers who rely upon them for critical support.

Joseph P. Whalen

This post originally appeared on Entrylaw.com. Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Joseph P. Whalen

Brent Renison is an immigration attorney in Portland, Oregon who has been representing employers and key employees with business-based immigration since 1997, as well as families with petitions and green card applications. He is well known for litigation of family and business immigration matters.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.