INS Reportedly Seeks to Move Office to Anaheim

Special to The Times

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service wants to move its main immigrant processing center to downtown Anaheim, according to city officials and immigration activists.

The city is concerned about increased traffic and parking, and activists say the move will burden the region's large immigrant population.

Anaheim officials said Wednesday that the INS has said it wants to move the asylum hearing offices from Laguna Niguel and Los Angeles to a building across the street from City Hall. About 300 hearings a day would take place there for immigrants seeking asylum.

Elisa Stipkovich, Anaheim's redevelopment director, said parking "is our biggest concern."

E.J. Flynn, legal director of the Central American Refugee Center in Los Angeles, said: "The INS is asking people who in many cases do not speak English to take a complicated bus trip to Anaheim. All we are asking is that the INS asylum processing center be located in Los Angeles."

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