USCIS Public Engagement – What Does This Mean for Immigrants?

The USCIS is committed to public engagement, to ensure that immigrants and the general public are kept aware of the immigration process, changes to the US immigration process, and any other issues which can affect US residents and immigrants alike. To this end, the USCIS holds a number of local and national engagements to inform the public about issues related to immigration. These engagements are also an opportunity to take part, ask questions, and get involved in making changes that can affect the USCIS and the lives of immigrants in a positive way.

The USCIS public engagement commitment is overseen by the Office of Public Engagement (OPE). This office frequently lists upcoming engagements at www.uscis.gov/aboutOPE. As well, the office offers a number of ways to get involved and provide comments. There are many ways that immigrants and US residents can get involved through public engagement:

1) Visit the website to learn about upcoming engagements. If you see an engagement that you can attend and that is about a topic that interests you, consider attending. You will meet others interested in the same issues, you will learn more about the issues, and you will be given a chance to make comments.

2) Read over the notes and comments from past engagements that are of interest to you. You may find that some changes have been proposed which you feel strongly about. Reading information about past engagements also gives you a sense of what the USCIS is considering in terms of US immigration policy. This can be especially useful for immigrants who are going through the immigration process and who might be affected by any changes. You can view past notes on previous engagements at the OPE website.

3) Comment and provide feedback to the USCIS and to others about the changes you see in US immigration and about immigration issues that interest you. Once you know more about issues, you can provide your own feedback. There are many ways to do this. You can attend a public engagement. As well, the OPE website provides opportunities for feedback. You can also write to your political representatives where you live and your local newspaper to express your views. One of the exciting things about living in a free democracy is that you can make a difference and even affect policy in the future. All you need to do is take an interest, learn more, and take part. The USCIS public engagement initiatives and the USCIS Office of Public Engagement (OPE) can help you to take part.

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