BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services visited Vermont for three days this week as part of his travels to visit the agency’s facilities around the country.
L. Francis Cissna, who became director in October, said Vermont has a particularly high USCIS presence. The state has about 1,600 of the agency’s 19,000 federal and contract employees, said spokeswoman Anita Rios Moore. The biggest concentration is the 900 employees at the service center in St. Albans, which is one of five such centers around the country.
“I’m very happy to see that the workforce that we have here is highly competent and very skilled and I think they’re very motivated to do the work,” he said Thursday.
The center processes and adjudicates certain immigration applications and petitions but does not do in-person interviews or walk-in applications, the USCIS said.
Cissna also met with the agency’s Northeast leadership, who were in Vermont for a conference.
The week before he was in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“There was a period of time in February and March where I didn’t go anywhere at all because all the immigration stuff that was happening on capitol hill. I was involved in all of that so I didn’t dare go anywhere because things could happen at any moment but now Congress is all quiet so it looks like the coast is clear and I can actually run the agency again and do my normal job,” he said.
Aside from the service center, Vermont is also home to a USCIS Human Resources Operation Center and the personnel security division.