Commercial Online Database to USCIS Adjudicate Applications

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Sep 28, 2008, 1:02:10 PM9/28/08
The USCIS authority disclosed that beginning from about two months
from now, the field offices will require less supporting documentation
from the petitioners or applicants and instead use the information
about the petitioners or applicants which are available and accessible
to the public online to adjudicate the petitions or applications.

The disclosure of this information initially gave an impression that
it might be a good move to required from the petitioners and
applications less amount of supplemental documentation with possibly
less amount of RFE, but close analysis of the announcement raised a
serious concern to the immigration lawyer community in the Conference.
The serious concerns include:

(1) privacy of the information on the applicants and the

(2) suspect accuracy of the commercial online database without any
mechanism for verification.

The authority of the agency whose statutory authority is to
"adjudicate" the immigration benefits petitions and adjudication
"based on the evidence offered by the parties", rather than to search,
investigate, and collect the privacy information" as an authority, and
adjudicate the petitions and applications based on such information
which is not offered by the parties in the administrative proceedings
under the Administrative Procedure Act but collected by the agency on
its own. -

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