(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined more than 70 House Democrats and Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), led by Chairman Joaquin Castro, in asking the House and Senate Leadership to enact an emergency supplemental funding bill further responding to the COVID-19 pandemic before the end of July, including sufficient funding for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to continue its important mission and avoid crippling furloughs and appropriate parameters to improve the agency’s operations. In the letter to Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell and Leader McCarthy, Members of Congress laid out necessary guardrails to ensure responsibility and accountability from USCIS in the future. Today USCIS announced a delay to August 30th for the planned furlough periods, but the agency is still in need of funding and this issue should be addressed in the next coronavirus package.

“A simple review of the data and the Administration’s immigration policies make it clear that much of the agency’s current financial crisis is due to mismanagement and policy choices,” the Members wrote. “While we should appropriate any needed emergency funding, it is equally critical that we establish firm parameters and sideboards to ensure the funds are not used to intimidate or discourage immigration and to encourage the agency to develop procedures that will prevent a funding shortfall in the future.” 

The letter was signed by CHC Chairman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Zoe Lofgren (CA-13), First Vice Chair Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Second Vice Chair Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Whip Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Freshman Representative Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-12), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-2), Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (MS-2),  Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-7),  Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-5), Congressman Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly (VA-11), Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-8), Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-7), Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09), Congressman David Trone (MD-06), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-7), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34), Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Congressman Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (GA-4), Congressman James R. Langevin (RI-2), Congressman Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04),  Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51), Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Congressman Pete Aguilar (CA-3) Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6), Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-5), Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Congressman Jason Crow (CA-6), Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-4), Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), Congresswoman Norma Torres (CA-35), Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Congressman Scott H. Peters (CA-54), Congressman J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-2), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (FL-9), Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-3), Congresswoman Kathleen M. Rice (NY-4), Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Congresswoman Susan A. Davis (CA-53), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-5), Congressman Ed Case (HI-1), Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Congressman Peter Welch (VT-At Large), Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (MN-1), Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Congressman Seth Moulton (MA-6), Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3), Congressman Val Butler Demings (FL-10), Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-9), Congressman Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-8), Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49), Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Northern Marina Islands), and Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-3).

Full text of the letter can be found here.