Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Secure mail initiative legislation introduced in Senate

On Dec. 3, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the “Strengthening the Department of Homeland Security Secure Mail Initiative Act,” S. 3490, which would allow individuals to require the Postal Service to receive a signature on certain packages sent by United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

The measure is budget-neutral, meaning it wouldn’t add to the country’s deficit or create additional expenses for the Postal Service. Instead, customers who request a signature for delivery would be charged an additional fee for the service.

The SMI is a partnership between Postal Service and USCIS allowing the federal agency to confirm delivery of permanent resident cards, employment authorization documents and travel documents. Most importantly, the SMI allows USCIS customers to track their documents and provides faster shipping.

An identical bill, H.R. 4712, was introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and passed the House in September. With Congress’ adjournment, both bills died at the end of the session.

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