But on Feb. 16, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas issued his ruling temporarily blocking both. Citizenship and Immigration Services “immediately took steps to ensure the agency ceased its preparations,’’ said Catron, who added that DHS is “disappointed” by that decision as well as the May 26 one by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upholding it.
Since then, “everything is on hold,” said Kenneth Palinkas, president of National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council 119, which represents about 12,000 Citizenship and Immigration Services employees. Current employees who had been offered jobs in Crystal City have had the offers put on hold or rescinded, he said.
As for the Crystal City building, only the first floor is being used to train employees, about 30 at a time, on various aspects of immigration law, said Palinkas, who recently toured the facility.
Federal contractors, some of whom were also slated to work in Crystal City, have also been affected. DHS has canceled a request for proposals for a new mail and file room operations center to be staffed by about 400 contractors, documents said.