Twenty-two Minnesota DFL state senators have signed a letter opposing a proposed move of the Minneapolis immigration office to a remote location far from public transportation.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office, which covers Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin, has been located near the Mall of America, where there is easy access to public transportation for those needing services.
But federal officials plan to move the office 11 miles away, to the Bloomington-Eden Prairie border, to a site three miles from the closest bus line.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been fighting the move since March, and apparently even the federal officials in charge realize the proposal violates their own guidelines on accessibility for those who don’t have cars.
The state senators weighed in on the issue this week, saying in their letter to administrators:
As state senators, we are very concerned that this proposed move will place burdens on residents in our districts who rely on public transportation to access immigration services. One missed immigration appointment could have dire consequences for members of Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities.
We strongly encourage the USCIS and GSA to halt the plan to move the local USCIS office away from transit lines and to work with local stakeholders to find a location that can be easily reached by regularly scheduled public transportation.