USCIS Fee Increase: Pay More, Get Less
January 31, 2007
Washington, DC – In response to the announcement today of substantial fee increases for immigration-related services by the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Christina DeConcini, Policy Director of the National Immigration Forum, a pro-immigrant advocacy organization in Washington, DC, issued this statement.
We are alarmed by the skyrocketing fees which will prevent deserving immigrants from taking the necessary steps to become citizens.
With the level of service showing no signs of improvement, the announcement of yet another round of fee increases by USCIS is dispiriting. The national interest is served when we facilitate the citizenship and assimilation of immigrants into fully participating members of society; this substantial fee increase moves us in the wrong direction. America should be embracing those who want to become citizens, not erecting barriers to achieving this worthy goal.
Fees for applying for citizenship have already increased fourfold in eight years, which makes today’s announcement seem like piling on. Because the Administration has failed to request and Congress has failed to allocate sufficient funds to operate this key cog in our legal immigration infrastructure, USCIS is forced to operate like a business, with fees used to offset costs. Unfortunately, if USCIS were indeed a business, its advertising slogan would be something along the lines of “pay more, get less.”
Rather than just complain about tight budgets in a government run on the cheap, we call on Director Emilio Gonzalez, Secretary Michael Chertoff, and President George W. Bush to join us in requesting sufficient Congressional appropriations to ensure that citizenship remains an attainable goal for current and future immigrants.