Harrisburg campus Associate Professor Jill E. Family
recently served as moderator for a panel titled Innovations and Challenges in Immigration Benefits Adjudication: Legislation, Policy and Operations at the 8th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute which took place June 19th and June 20th at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.
The panel, which took place on Thursday afternoon, discussed the adjudication of immigration benefits before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Part of the Department of Homeland Security, the USCIS handles millions of applications for benefits each year. The panel looked at the challenges facing the USCIS as well as recent process innovations that have helped USCIS perform their mission. Discussion of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress could have further impact on the USCIS, which would be responsible for processing millions more applications for legal status in such a scenario.
Joining Professor Family on the panel were James W. McCament, Chief, Office of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Mariela Melero, Assistant Director, Customer Service and Public Engagement Directorate, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Lynden Melmed, Partner, Berry, Appleman & Lieden LLP; and Royce B. Murray, Director of Policy, National Immigration Justice Center.
"USCIS currently manages applications for immigration benefits on a massive scale. It adjudicates approximately 30,000 applications per day,” said Professor Family, adding, “This was a perfect time to take a step back and to examine how USCIS adjudications have improved over the past few years and also to discuss challenges for the agency.”