Much-anticipated reopening of immigration services office ends with many turned away

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — High hopes quickly turned into disappointment for Jose Luis Agraz on Monday morning at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Downtown San Diego.

The office, which handles citizenship, resident status and other immigration issues, was supposed to reopen after being closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Agraz had arrived at 7 a.m. hoping to be among the first to enter the office on the day it reopened. But it wasn’t meant to be.

Jose Luis Agraz and two others outside the Downtown San Diego U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.
(Salvador Rivera/Border Report)
Unidentified man trying to talk his way inside the Downtown San Diego U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.
(Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

Agraz is not alone. Like thousands of people, he has been in limbo with his case.

Agraz needs to see someone about finalizing an extension to his visa so he can continue crossing the border freely and tend to his hair salon in Tijuana, his primary source of income.

“Three months I’ve been waiting for an appointment or a chance to see someone,” Agraz said.

According to the office’s website, it was supposed to reopen on June 4 and “resume non-emergency face to face services to the public.”

Agraz was under the impression appointments were not required and could walk up and finally take care of his pending visa expiration, it’s set to expire tomorrow.

Jose Luis Agraz on the phone outside Downtown San Diego U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.
(Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

“It’s desperation time now,” Agraz said.

Late Thursday, a spokesperson for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent word its San Diego office and many others were only going to be able to “perform limited emergency and in-person public services.”

Agraz and others will have to remain in immigration limbo.

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