The Trump administration is preparing to shutter all international US Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices.
The move could slow down the processes of family visa applications, foreign adoptions and other tasks, the Washington Post reported.
USCIS Director L Francis Cissna said in an email to staff that he is working to transfer those duties — now performed by employees worldwide — to domestic offices and the State Department’s embassies and consulates, the publication wrote.
The agency, part of the US Department of Homeland Security, currently operates 23 offices overseas, scattered across Latin America, Europe and Asia, according to the agency’s website.
Its offices offer services including: helping American citizens who want to bring relatives to the United States; processing refugee applications; enabling overseas citizenship applications; and assisting Americans who want to adopt foreign children, according to its website.
“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 undisrupted,” wrote Cissna.
DNC on the Trump administration’s plans
DNC Latinx Media Director Enrique Gutierrez and AAPI Media Director John Santos called the Trump administration’s plans “a blatant attempt to deny opportunities to immigrants by making it much harder for them to legally enter the country.”
In a statement, they said, “The administration’s explanation that the move is an effort to cut government spending does not hold up since USCIS’s funding comes primarily from fees paid by people who use its services. Rather, this decision is a clear attempt to shut US doors to those who use the services provided by USCIS field offices: immigrants who are going through the legal process to get a green card, service members who are trying to get their citizenship while stationed overseas, and citizens who are going through a foreign adoption process.”
Democrats are committed to fighting Trump’s politics of cruelty and continued callous attacks against immigrants and their families, the statement read.