Homeland Security Department scheduled to close all International Offices at Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau

March 14, 2019: Federal government officials are preparing to close all of the International Offices of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau (CIS), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CIS Director L. Francis Cissna said in an e-mail sent to staff members on Tuesday, March 12, 219, that he is working to transfer those duties—now conducted by employees worldwide—to domestic offices and the U.S. Department of State’s Embassies and Consulates. He wrote that if State Department officials agree, the agency would move to close its international field offices in coming months “in an effort to maximize our agency’s finite resources.” “I believe by doing so, we will better leverage our funds to address backlogs in the United States while also leveraging existing Department of State resources at post,” he wrote. “Change can be difficult and can cause consternation. I want to assure you we will work to make this as smooth a transition as possible for each of our USCIS staff while also ensuring that those utilizing our services may continue to do so and our agency operations continue to do so and our agency operations continue undisrupted.” The shift will ripple to offices in New Delhi, Port-au-Prince in Haiti, Rome and numerous other ¬foreign cities where the agency has offices that handle emergencies, smooth backlogs in immigration petitions and provide direct information in foreign languages. CIS international offices also investigate fraud. Officials said there are more than twenty offices, including several in Mexico, two in China and one that was set to open in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethi¬o¬pia. Administration officials said the move is expected to allow them to shift resources to slash backlogs in the United States, and they estimate the government will save millions of dollars each year by phasing out CIS International Offices.

Attribution: The Washington Post

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