On November 9, 2010, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas held a Stakeholder Meeting in Seattle, Washington at the Immigration building. The meeting was well attended with people from various sectors of the community in attendance. I very much liked the Director who appeared charismatic, intelligent, witty and approachable.
He discussed some of the changes to USCIS internal policies, including a better national customer service system. He said he is hopeful for comprehensive immigration reform but is not able to predict a time for such reform.
He answered many questions from the audience and addressed concerns raised about many issues, including the new fees that will come into effect on November 23, 2010. He said that while he realizes the difficulties with raised fees for the public, this was a last resort measure. He emphasized that naturalization petition fees have remained unchanged. He took notes about issues he will review upon his return to headquarters.
The Director said that USCIS is going to develop a precedent system. Recently, for the first time, two precendents were issued by the Administrative Appeals Office. He said to expect more. He hopes that these will provide consistency in adjudication. Watson Immigration Law applaudes this. He said that in terms of goals, he would like to improve the customer service system and bring consistency to adjudications.
Overall, it was a very informative discussion. Director Mayorkas was complimented for his open dialogue with the communities. Watson Immigration law thanks our local USCIS office for organizing the meeting and the Director himself for attending and giving us some of his valuable time.