Obama's citizenship director visits Twin Citiesby Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Obama Administration's new director of Citizenship and Immigration Services was in the Twin Cities today as part of a listening tour.
Alejandro Mayorkas met with about 60 people, including law enforcement officers, business owners and members of immigrant rights groups to hear how the immigration system is working
"I picked up on a great deal of hope for comprehensive immigration reform and the need for it," Mayorkas said. "One person at the outset articulated a view that the current immigration system is broken and that encompassing view might have captured some of the frustration."
John Keller, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, was among the attendees. He said Mayorkas oversees lawful immigration, not enforcement, but he got to hear about both.
"The director himself addressed the fact that there is so much frustration as he travels around among the high levels of arrests, enforcement and detention that we're currently living in under the Department of Homeland Security," Keller said. "That has been a very common theme in his discussions around the country."
Mayorkas said he's working to make Citizen and Immigration Services more transparent and accountable to the people it serves, and speed up processing time for things like green cards, applications for citizenship and other services.