MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Plans to relocate the Twin Cities U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office have been stopped after some Minnesota lawmakers stepped in.

“This was a major government mistake,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar joined Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Keith Ellison to stop the move. Klobuchar said the relocation would have put the office at a significant distance from the nearest bus line. She said it would not be fair to people who want to become U.S. citizens.

“They are doing everything right, but they were putting this in a location that they would have to take a cab or drive a car, and a lot of them don’t own a car,” she said.

According to Klobuchar, the Government Services Agency has agreed to stop the process of moving and restart the bidding process for a different location.

“We are really pleased with this result,” Klobuchar said.

The three Minnesota lawmakers are also working to push for laws that would require the GSA to verify that the public transit requirement specified in a lease solicitation be met, and that public transportation runs regularly throughout the business hours of the building. The legislation has been dubbed the Government Services Accessibility Act.

“I applaud GSA’s recent decision to relocate the USCIS St. Paul Field Office to a transit friendly location. The decision to keep the USCIS office in an accessible location reflects GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini’s responsive and cooperative leadership,” Ellison said.


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