Fee changes proposed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, will significantly increase filing fees for various immigration benefits, including Naturalization, Lawful Permanent Residency, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and Employment Authorization. The agency has proposed, for the first time, to charge a fee to apply for asylum.
It also plans to transfer $207.6 million in applications fees from USCIS to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) The proposed changes were published Nov. 14, 2019, with a public comment period through Feb. 10, 2020.
Family Member of U
Application to Replace
Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90)
(Form also used to renew
IMPACTOF PROPOSED CHANGES ON OUR
The fee changes
would harm state and
local economies and workforces. The large increase in
fees could limit immigrants’ access to documentation they need to
work, drive, and to prove lawful presence in the
United States. This could lead
of employment and a significant decrease in state revenue
from income and consumer taxes,
as well as fees for
such as driver’s licenses.
Low-income residents would be disproportionately
harmed by USCIS fee changes. The proposals would assess a fee for the life-saving
protection of asylum, and significantly increase fees for DACA renewals, a green
card and naturalization. Workers earning minimum wage, for example, will be
less able to renew status or advance in the immigration process. This will
hinder immigrants’ ability to fully integrate, even as state and local
governments promote integration.
The excessive increase of naturalization fees
will deny long-time residents, who are deeply rooted in communities across the
country, the chance to become citizens, limiting their participation in civic
and democratic processes including voting and jury service.
The new fee policy punishes immigrants for USCIS
mismanagement of its resources. It would take funds from immigrants’ pockets
and give them to ICE, which unfairly targets members of their community at
courthouses and workplaces for deportation.
These changes will require additional local
resources to combat notario fraud and other types of consumer fraud against
immigrants. Low-income and newly arrived immigrants will be more likely to turn
to dishonest providers who charge fees for incompetent advice in immigration
cases. Residents of underserved, rural communities are especially susceptible
to such harmful practices.
The proposed fee changes are yet another attack
on minority communities by the administration. Higher fees, the elimination of
many opportunities for fee waivers and fee exemptions, as well as the new
public charge rule, exclude minorities from the immigration process. Many of
the most-affected people come from African, Caribbean, Central American and
Muslim-majority countries. Many arrive with limited resources and in search of
asylum and other protections, as well as employment and educational