WASHINGTON, DC., February 26th, 2020 — The Niskanen Center is proud to support The Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2020 introduced today by Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Rep. Cardenas (D-CA). 

To better understand and correct skyrocketing process times—an increase of 101 percent over the last five years—the bill would establish a quarterly USCIS report on the status of its case backlog, strengthen USCIS’s existing annual reporting requirements on backlogs and processing times, and establish a biennial GAO report with recommendations to more expeditiously process cases.

“Representatives Stivers and Cardenas deserve praise for their leadership in forging pragmatic, bipartisan solutions on the challenging issue of ensuring thorough review of applications and reliable processing at USCIS” said Kristie De Peña, Niskanen’s Vice President for Policy and Director for Immigration Policy. “This bill is a common-sense step to address the serious concerns over USCIS processing and ensure the timely adjudication of all petitions.”

In May 2019, 36 lawmakers (more than one-third of the Senate) signed a letter led by Senators Tillis and Blumenthal drawing attention to USCIS processing delays. That bipartisan letter, and this bipartisan legislation, clearly shows that USCIS processing delays impact Americans of all stripes: Democrats and Republican; red and blue states; urban and rural parts of the country. Processing delays also disrupt service members looking to naturalize, human trafficking victims, family and employment sponsorship, and other immigrant groups. 

De Peña added, “USCIS should offer efficient, effective processing for all petitions. The agency should be committed to not just reserversing these harmful processing delays, but ensure a ballooning backlog doesn’t happen again.” 


The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.

Photo by Robert Jones from Pixabay