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Ombudsman Essentials

Ombudsman Essentials. CIS OMBUDSMAN Office - Washington, D.C. CIS OMBUDSMAN. Created by Homeland Security Act §452 Mission: assist individuals and employers in resolving problems with USCIS (Case Unit);

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Ombudsman Essentials

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  1. Ombudsman Essentials CIS OMBUDSMAN Office - Washington, D.C.

  2. CIS OMBUDSMAN • Created by Homeland Security Act §452 • Mission: assist individuals and employers in resolving problems with USCIS (Case Unit); • Identify systemic problems with access to immigration services and make recommendations. • Recommendations: see www.dhs.gov/cisombudsman • Teleconferences, updates, negotiations, conferences, liaison to problem solve

  3. Ombuds Essentials -- Toolbox • Ombuds use a toolbox of resources to resolve individual and systemic issues: • Facilitation • Mediation (use of mediation skills w/o mediation) • Training • Outreach • Oral and written reporting

  4. Ombuds Tenets • Independence • Impartiality (Neutrality) • Confidentiality • Informality

  5. Ombuds Tenets -- Independence • We do not report to USCIS, they do not report to us • Separate component, at HQ level – • CIS Ombudsman answers directly to Congress and the Deputy Secretary of DHS

  6. Ombuds Tenets -- Impartiality • Provides confidence to public/USCIS in our work • “Advocate for a fair process” • Look at all sides • Individual cases • Systemic Issues • Attorney/representative is not always right, agency is not always right

  7. Ombuds Tenets -- Confidentiality • Gives confidence to share with the ombuds • Enables us to look at trends others might not see • No repercussions to sharing information with ombuds

  8. Ombuds Tenets -- Confidentiality • Individual Cases • Approaching the ombuds is confidential • Form 7001/G-28– permission to share with USCIS • CISOMB must request additional permission to share with media, other agencies, other components the public, other family members • Public materials (Annual Report, newsletters, etc.) -- no identifying information unless have permission of individual

  9. Ombuds Tenets -- Confidentiality • Stakeholders • An ombuds does not attach a specific viewpoint or observation to a specific stakeholder in the ombuds’ written or oral reporting • Permission is required to share the above

  10. Ombuds Tenets -- Informality • Resolve informally, before litigation • If in litigation, we do not participate publicly • Ombuds does not replace formal channels – parallel tracks

  11. Ombuds Essentials -- What else? • Ombuds serves as early warning system for entity • Ombuds recommends systemic changes, can’t require them • Contacting ombuds does not stay statutory, regulatory, or other agency timeframes

  12. CIS OMBUDSMAN – Contacts • cisombudsman@dhs.gov • Form 7001 for individual cases at www.dhs.gov/cisombudsman, or can use on – line • Peggy Gleason, Senior Advisor on Family Based Immigration margaret.gleason@dhs.gov • Humanitarian Sr. Advisor rena.cutlip-mason@dhs.gov • Employment Sr. Advisor frederick.troncone@dhs.gov

  13. Ombudsman Office Recommendations • Read at www.dhs.gov/cisombudsman • Employment Authorization for Asylum applicants • Deferred Action • Customer Complaints to USCIS • Special Immigrant Juvenile Adjudications • I-601 Waivers • Future Topics: your suggestions here_________

  14. Ombudsman Annual Conference • October 18, 2012 – DC National Archives • Six panels with government and stakeholder representatives on employment, family-based and humanitarian immigration issues

  15. Ombudsman Teleconferences • Asylum Process for Unaccompanied Minors • U Visas: USCIS/DOS Coordination • Small Business Immigration Issues • Status Verification Systems at USCIS: SAVE • Survivor Benefits under new INA Sec. 204(l) • Family-Based Visa Retrogression: DOS/NVC • Nov: Change of Address and Mailing Issues • Infopass and Access to Local Offices

  16. CIS Ombudsman – Questions?

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