US im­mi­gra­tion agency moves to close in­ter­na­tional of­fices

Sun.Star Pampanga - - WORLD! -

WASH­ING­TON -- The Home­land Security Depart­ment is mov­ing to­ward clos­ing im­mi­gra­tion ser­vices of­fices out­side the United States, say­ing it is ex­pected to free up mil­lions of dol­lars a year to bet­ter ad­dress a back­log in do­mes­tic lo­ca­tions.

US Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vices spokes­woman Jes­sica Collins said Tuesday that the agency is in pre­lim­i­nary dis­cus­sions to close of­fices in 20 coun­tries out­side the United States. There are about 70 em­ploy­ees in Great Bri­tain, Mex­ico, South Africa, Italy, In­dia, the Philippines, China and other coun­tries.

Collins said the agency will work closely with the State Depart­ment to avoid any in­ter­rup­tions to ser­vices over­seas.

Or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing Amnesty In­ter­na­tional and Hu­man Rights First crit­i­cized the move, say­ing clos­ing in­ter­na­tional of­fices would mean fewer ser­vices for refugees.

The agency said refugee pro­cess­ing won't be af­fected. (Sun­Star Philippines)

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