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Welch says Vt. delegation working to protect USCIS workers

Rep. Peter Welch
Rep. Peter Welch(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 5:11 PM EDT
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ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) - Congressman Peter Welch says he’s working with Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders to reverse USCIS furloughs that could affect more than 1,000 Vermonters.

Welch is co-sponsoring legislation to give USCIS more money this year. He says the emergency funding would likely be part of the proposed $3 trillion coronavirus relief plan announced in May.

USCIS has 13,000 employees nationwide. If those furloughs happen, Welch says approximately 1,500 employees at the St. Albans service center would be impacted.

"Be sure to understand something. We lose 1,500 salaries-- this is a devastating blow to the economy of Vermont, particularly Franklin County and Chittenden County," said Welch, D-Vermont.

Meanwhile, Sens. Leahy and Tester of Montana found USCIS has a surplus this year, not a deficit as claimed. According to Senate Appropriations Committee, USCIS has enough money to pay employees through the remainder of this fiscal year but faces a deficit next year.

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