U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services naturalization ceremony. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

About 13,400 employees from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be furloughed by August due to a decline in revenue from immigration and visa application fees that help fund the agency, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: President Trump's administration has implemented many immigration policies that blocked non-Americans from entering the country's borders, separated families and delayed visas, drying up the agency's revenue.

  • Administration officials blame the pandemic for a 50% drop in fees from applications since March.
  • But, applications to USCIS by U.S. citizens seeking to bring immediate relatives to the U.S. have decreased by almost 30% from 2017 to 2019, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Driving the news: The Trump administration announced last week it will expand entry bans into the U.S. for foreigners on certain temporary work visas — including high-skilled H-1B visas— through the end of the year.

By the numbers: The agency has turned to Congress, asking for emergency funds of $1.2 billion. Of the agency’s $4.8 billion budget, 97% comes from fees.

  • Both Democrats and Republicans said they want to prevent the furloughs and that it was possible to include additional aid into another coronavirus relief package, per NYT.

What to watch: Russell Vought, the acting White House budget director, told lawmakers the agency’s fee receipts could decrease by more than 60% by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Go deeper

Jul 30, 2020 - Technology

Apple crushes earnings expectations

Tim Cook, kicking off Apple’s September 2018 event. Photo: Apple

Apple on Thursday handily beat expectations for quarterly sales and earnings and announced a 4-for-1 stock split.

Why it matters: The move comes a day after Congressional hearings and as other Big Tech firms also turned in stellar reports.

A quandary for state unemployment agencies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

State agencies charged with paying unemployment benefits to jobless residents have their backs against the wall as they rush to parse President Trump's executive actions on coronavirus aid.

Why it matters: States are being asked to pitch in $100 per unemployed resident, but it’s a heavy lift for cash-strapped states that are still unclear about the details and may not opt-in at all. It leaves the states and jobless residents in a state of limbo.

Updated 16 mins ago - Health

New Zealand reports first local coronavirus cases for 102 days

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after a press conference at Parliament on July 22 in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Auckland is locking down and the rest of New Zealand faces lesser restrictions for 72 hours after a family of four tested positive for COVID-19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the first cases not in managed isolation for 102 days, Ardern said at a news briefing.