The Washington Post has reported that USCIS is establishing an internal oversight division. The new division’s purpose, in part, would be to monitor more closely officers who are too lenient in assessing applications for permanent residence and citizenship, including overlooking negative factors such as misdemeanors and the receipt of government benefits (e.g., food stamps). Employees of USCIS would be encouraged to report any such observed “misconduct” by other staff to the new office, which would report directly to Director Francis Cissna.

Establishing this division follows changes Cissna recently made to the USCIS mission statement. That revised statement emphasizes ensuring that benefits are not provided to those who do not qualify, moving away from prioritizing customer (i.e., applicant) satisfaction.

A USCIS spokesman said the agency has no official announcement to make regarding any reorganization at this time, but did not deny such a division is being considered. Jackson Lewis will continue to monitor developments.