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Nadler, Lofgren Statement on USCIS Proposal to Increase Process Fees for Citizenship and Asylum Seekers

Nov 12, 2019

Washington, D.C. – On Friday, the Trump Administration released a proposed rule, announcing a 21 percent increase in fees associated with the processing of requests for immigration benefits by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The proposed fee schedule includes—for the first time ever—a fee for asylum applicants who are seeking humanitarian protection in the United States, as well as an 80 percent increase in fees charged to those who wish to become U.S. citizens.  In addition, USCIS intends to limit the availability of fee waivers and exemptions for those unable to pay the exorbitant fees.  In response, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) released the following statement:

“The Trump Administration’s proposed fee schedule is a true reflection of its disdain of all forms of immigration.  The fact that the United States will join Iran, Australia, and Fiji as the only countries in the world who charge individuals to process applications for asylum, marks a sad and shameful day in our history.  

“Just two years ago, USCIS increased its fees and yet processing delays have continued to climb.  And now, the agency is proposing another fee increase, and the limiting of fee waivers, while transferring more than $200 million to immigration enforcement.  This plan, which is nothing more than an attempt to price individuals out of the process and transfer the burden of enforcement onto the backs of immigrants, is morally wrong and abhorrent.

“The proposed rule includes many other fee increases and procedural changes that are of great concern us, including an increase in the cost to renew Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and a proposal to extend the time period for premium processing of employment-based benefits.  Overall, this rule is just the latest move by a President whose mission is to make America a less welcoming nation. This is not who we are, we must do better.”

116th Congress