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Deepa Ramchandran

Question in Economic Impact Report asked during USCIS conference

Hi, I am Peter Joseph, executive director of IIUSA. And thank you very much for opportunity to engage with you all publicly here. I have sort of a two-part question, and it started with a little bit of a bad story. So we produce the economic impact reports and have them peer-reviewed based on comprehensive datasets on 924 statistics that we obtained through the Freedom of Information Act request process makes sense for you. I am sure you guys are aware of that. And so we are encouraged to see the Department of Commerce get involved in a economic impact report and so we would be very interested in helping in that process in whatever way we can providing data or whatever reports that we've done. We try to pick up where things were left up with the ICFR record that was produced by USCIS in 2010. It was obviously very important that we get timely statistics out on economic impact for the benefit of the program. So in transition to the question part, there is a reference to MoU with USCIS and the SEC on the contract that had been agreed upon with the Department of Commerce. What are some other examples of these types of formal relationships that are developed between various agencies within the federal government that’s something that we have been very encouraged by and just would appreciate being flipped? Thank you very much.

Answers

Deepa Ramchandran
January 09, 2015 07:18 AM  Deepa Ramchandran

Thanks. First, I guess, first, thank you for the offer. We will certainly pass that along to the Department of Commerce as they begin their studies. With respect to sort of the interagency at the federal level, one of the things I mentioned, I think, at our last engagement was we were going to have a interagency engagement. We did it right here in this room actually. We had about a dozen agencies and attendance probably between 40 and 50 individuals came in. It was a good chance for us to be able to really fully explain the program, get some feedback from those agencies on the regulation that we're contemplating. We got to sit down and have direct conversations agency to agency with some of them so we could discuss ideas of mutual interest. It was very worthwhile endeavor for us. We since had probably half a dozen meetings with agencies. In terms of formal memoranda of understanding, DHS and USCIS have a range of MoUs specific to the SEC memo that was something that was recommended in the IG report that I mentioned that was issued last December. We are continuing to work through that with the SEC, but just with respect to SEC or any other investigative body, they can make a case specific inquiries to USCIS. We do require that to come in writing when you have an investigation and one of the things we will do is work with our office of chief counsel to then provide the information that we are allowed to provide. So we do have a fairly robust information sharing. We do fairly robustly share information across a range of agencies and specifically the leaders or fraud detection, national security group to handle those investigations and relationships.

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