Dean James at Right Wing Tribune
The Trump administration has proposed hiking a range of fees assessed on those pursuing legal immigration and citizenship, asylum and other immigration-related issues.
The move is necessary and is also fairly routine.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency that is mostly funded by immigrant applicants, announced Friday that it is proposing a change to its fee structure. Namely, the agency is looking to charge foreign nationals $50 to apply for asylum, and raise the application fees for citizenship, DACA renewals, and work permits, the Daily Caller News Foundation reports.
Fees collected and deposited into the IEFA fund nearly 96% of USCIS’ budget. Unlike most government agencies, USCIS is fee-funded. Federal law requires USCIS to conduct biennial fee reviews and recommend necessary fee adjustments to ensure recovery of the full cost of administering the nation’s immigration laws, adjudicating applications and petitions, and providing the necessary infrastructure to support those activities.
“USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures, just like a business, and make adjustments based on that analysis. This proposed adjustment in fees would ensure more applicants cover the true cost of their applications and minimizes subsidies from an already over-extended system,” said Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of USCIS.
“Furthermore, the adjudication of immigration applications and petitions requires in-depth screening, incurring costs that must be covered by the agency, and this proposal accounts for our operational needs and better aligns our fee schedule with the costs of processing each request.”
The rule proposes adjusting USCIS IEFA fee schedules by a weighted average increase of 21% to ensure full cost recovery. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by approximately $1.3 billion per year.
The proposed fee rule accounts for increased costs to adjudicate immigration benefit requests, detect and deter immigration fraud, and thoroughly vet applicants, petitioners, and beneficiaries.
USCIS last updated its fee structure in FY 2017, by a weighted average increase of 21%.
Currently, the cost of a citizenship application is $725 for most individuals. This fee would rise to $1,170 under the Trump administration’s proposal, according to The New York Times. The hundreds of thousands of people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would see their renewal fee rise from $495 to $765. Additionally, work permit fees would rise to $490.
The proposed fee structure will be formally published Thursday, beginning a month-long comment period for the public before it can be enacted.
The rule changes mark the latest effort by the Trump administration to weed out immigration by low-income foreign nationals.
The White House, for example, issued a proclamation in October to deny immigrant applications to those who cannot afford health insurance, and proposed a “public charge” in August that takes into account an immigrant’s use of government benefits before granting them permanent status. Both of those measures have been blocked by federal judges.
Of course leftwing activists are complaining even though the plans make perfect sense.
“This administration is working assiduously to put up more barriers to immigrants,” said Melissa Rodgers, the director of programs at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in the ultra liberal city of San Francisco.
She described the naturalization fee increases as part of “a pattern of attack” by the Trump administration “to undermine the opportunity for immigrants to become citizens.”
“It’s saying if you aren’t wealthy, you are not welcome here,” she added.
That, my friends is absurd.
But that is the liberal mindset unfortunately.
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune
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