I attended a USCIS District 1 Office Meeting this morning, and wanted to send out some notes and statistics from that meeting. The meeting included the Field Office Directors from the Boston and Lawrence, as well as the District 1 Director.
USCIS shared some interesting statistics. Nationally, USCIS has seen almost a 30% increase in N-400 receipts over the last 18 months. Some more statistics (most of these are from Oct 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017):
- N-400 Cycle Times (not necessarily the expected wait time for a single application, a little more complicated, but something close):
- National: 9 months
- Boston: 6.4 months (FY ’16 was 5.3 months)
- Lawrence: 8.2 months (FY ’16 was 5.7 months)
- USCIS’s stated goal is 5 months
- N-400 receipts:
- Boston: 17,447
- Lawrence: 7,576
- N-400 approvals:
- Boston: 13,495
- Lawrence: 4,734
- N-400 pending cases:
- Boston 12,060
- Lawrence: 6,638
USCIS also shared its policy (or lack thereof) concerning referrals to ICE. If an N-400 or adjustment of status applicant has an outstanding removal order (meaning an Immigration Judge has ordered the applicant to be deported), it is USCIS policy to refer those applicants to ICE. It should be noted that this is not a policy change under the new administration; rather, this has always been USCIS policy. USCIS has seen an increase in the frequency with which ICE follows up and takes an individual into custody under the Trump administration. For applicants without outstanding removal orders, there is no official policy. It seems that District 1, as a rule, does not notify ICE for anyone out-of-status; however, each case is examined individually. If USCIS determines an applicant to be a threat to the community, there is certainly the risk that USCIS would refer that applicant to ICE.
The Lawrence Field Office has a new permanent Field Office Director, Kristen Smith. She comes from USCIS’s field office in Guatemala City.
Finally, USCIS stressed that they are working diligently to reduce application times and its backlog of cases.