Feds cancel RFP for immigration paperwork center
Friday, the federal government called off a call for proposals to set up a special operations center in Virginia to process to process up to five million forms for DAPA, the Obama administration's deferred action program focused on parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
The feds recently sent out, and then closed, a request for proposals for the center. The RFP had been posted in the government's official database for federal business opportunities, and camefrom U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that oversees visa and naturalization services under the Department of Homeland Security.
But on Friday the agency canceled the bidding, in the wake of a federal judge issuing an injunction that effectively halted the rollout of DAPA.
Request for commenton why the agency canceled the proposal went unanswered.
The RFP was submitted on Jan. 23 and was the agency's response to two new deferred action programs announced by President Barack Obama in November.
The president expanded the 2012 deferred action for childhood arrivals program, known as DACA, and announced a similar program for parents known as DAPA.
On Jan. 29, USCIS announced that the agency would begin receiving applications for the expanded DACA program by Feb. 18.
Later, the agency announced that it would accept applications for DAPA by May 20.
The RFP was for the creation of a new USCIS office based inArlington, Va., where additional staff would process forms forthe agency for the next two years, with "with most requests expected in the first six to nine months," according to the documents which were posted on the federal website.Theagency expected the facility to be ready on May 19.
USCIS estimated that "at a 50 percent filing rate among the eligible population" itexpected to process up to five million forms, including two millionnew forms created specifically for the new DAPA program. The other forms will include travel documents and employment authorizations.
However, both programs were put onhold when aU.S. District Court judge granted a temporary injunction as part of a lawsuit by 26 states, including Texas and Arizona, against thefederal government.
The order, signed by U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen, prevented DHSfrom “implementing any and all aspects or phases” of either the expansion of DACA or DAPA.
Hanen carved out an exception for the 2012 DACA in his ruling.
On Friday, the Department ofJustice announced that it would seek anemergency ruling to allow the president's executive actions to move forward.
Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson noted in a press release that the Hanen's orderdidn't affect the agency's ability to "set and implement enforcement priorities."
Johnson said that DHS would continue tofocus onimmigrants with criminal histories, as well as those whohave crossed into the United States since Jan. 1, 2014.