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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

Oct 8, 2020 - Health

Science is winning over politics on coronavirus vaccines

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Science has won out over politics in the race for a coronavirus vaccine — for now.

Why it matters: The Food and Drug Administration's end run around the White House on vaccine guidance earlier this week may end up boosting public confidence, which is very important in light of widespread vaccine skepticism.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.