[AF, 04/01/2010] United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced at a news conference today that it has changed its name…to Google!. The change takes effect immediately.
The surprising move is part of a campaign to bring Google’s 1GB ultra speedy broadband Internet into the Agency. Alejandro Mayorkas, USCIS Director, explained during the formal proclamation:
In order to provide high-speed immigration services, we must have high-speed internet services.
His agency, often criticized for being slow and inefficient, has unveiled a slew of changes in recent months in order to improve its public image. Backlog reduction is apparently an important part of the plan, but according to GAO, the effort has been hindered by spotty internet connections available to adjudication officers.
Sometimes I sent a request for evidence, but it took five months to leave our system!
An immigration officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss internal issues with the media, told AF reporters.
USCIS must fight to win a seat in Google’s broadband experiement, which will introduce internet connections 100 times faster than current standard. The pilot project is open to only a few participants, however. By changing its name to Google!, especially with the addition of an exclamation mark, USCIS hopes to increase its chances.
Update April 1, 2010:
USCIS just learned that Google officially changed its name also, to Topeka. Given that immigration is a federal matter, USCIS has decided to put the name change plan on hold, i.e. in pending status, indefinitely.