Following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the East Coast is beginning a slow but steady recovery. Businesses and services in the north-eastern states are starting to reopen, including some federal offices, schools and the stock exchange. Limited flights have resumed to airports in New York, although major delays are still expected after the cancellation of more than 18,000 flights across the area. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that at least eight million homes and businesses are still without power because of the storm.
As a result of the storm, multiple USCIS offices remain closed, and others are opening late. USCIS is updating its website daily with information on office closures.
If a USCIS office was closed during your appointment time, your appointment will automatically be rescheduled to the next available appointment date. Additionally, walk-ins will be processed on a case-by-case basis. USCIS encourages you to monitor the website for daily changes, as re-opening will obviously be affected by issues like electricity, flooding, access to roads, and general safety concerns. Customers needing to reach a USCIS Immigration Information Officer are encouraged to call the National Customer Service Center hotline at 1-800-375-5283 between the hours of 11:00 am and 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Phone operations have also been impacted by the storm, so your patience is appreciated.
Both Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have issued a message in an effort to reassure the public that their primary mission in all emergency situations is to save lives. To the extent that ICE and CBP officers are working on public safety/emergency relief efforts, including those related to evacuation or sheltering, they will not be engaged in immigration law enforcement initiatives. Berardi Immigration Law‘s main office located in Buffalo, NY was not impacted by the storm and wishes all our friends on the East Coast the best during these upcoming weeks of recovery.