More than 200 U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees in St. Albans have been moved to Essex Junction for the foreseeable future, according to the St. Albans Messenger. The shift has taken place because the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services facility in St. Albans sustained damage during a December flood.
The union representing the affected USCIS employees said they were notified of the relocation two weeks ago. The newspaper reported that the workers were ordered to go to their new post in Essex Junction by February 4 or risk losing their jobs.
Last summer, the Department of Homeland Security was planning to furlough about two-thirds of USCIS employees nationwide for what DHS described at the time to be budgetary reasons. Those plans were eventually abandoned. Had the furloughs taken place, they would have affected more than 1,100 USCIS employees in Vermont, most of whom were working in St. Albans.