Monday, June 04, 2007

New immigration office - Well, if you thought that the state could build a new office to help illegal immigrants get new citizenship would help discourage illegal immigration, think again.

The U.S. Immigration and Citizenship office (Part of Homeland Security) broke ground on another office in Durham today. Believe it or not it's only the second office now in the state. Charlotte is home to the only office in the state that processes visas, green cards, and citizenship.

They take in 500 people a day and likely over 20,000 a year get citizenship. The process takes at least six months and several trips to the office. That means those people looking to legally become citizens would have to take several days off work, spend the money to get to Charlotte, and wait for hours and hours if not days to get processed each time they went.

My question? Could this help encourage those who give up and live here illegally to do it right now that they don't have to go as far and it could be easier now?

Quick answer from Rep. David Price and USCIS Director Dr. Emilio Gonzalez-NO!

They say it won't make a difference on that topic. They do believe it could go quicker for those seeking citizenship but it's more or less a move to ease the burden on Charlotte.

The new office opens off Miami Boulevard in March 2008.

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