Fee Increase for Immigration Applications Is an Attack on Legal Immigration

July 31, 2020

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—the government agency that administers the country's legal immigration system—is expected to announce Monday major fee hikes for many immigration-related applications and petitions. The increased fees will impact people applying for U.S. citizenship and asylum, as well as American businesses hiring or retaining employees vital to our country’s recovery from a global health and economic crisis.

The announcement follows a public comment period that ended in December 2019—well before the agency’s request to Congress for a $1.2 billion in emergency funding and furlough notices to 13,400 employees—resulting from the agency’s mismanagement and inefficiencies over the past few years.

The following statement is from Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council:

“The new fee rule will make it more difficult for people to obtain and maintain immigration status in the United States and will impose significant costs on low-income immigrants, increase burdens on asylum seekers, discourage citizenship applications, and make our system of legal immigration less accessible to many.

“In recent years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—which is primarily fee-funded—has implemented a series of policies and procedures that have decreased its efficiency, driven up the cost of adjudications, slowed case processing, and discouraged its stakeholders from submitting applications and petitions. The financial crisis that the agency is experiencing is largely of its own making. Now the agency is trying to force immigrant families, asylum seekers, American businesses, and people who would like to become U.S. citizens to shoulder the burden of its own fiscal mismanagement and misguided policies.

“America's story of immigration is one based on the desire to work hard, support one's family, and contribute to the future of our powerful nation. Congress should use its oversight authority to hold USCIS accountable for its inefficient and costly policies and return the agency to its statutory mission: making our immigration system more accessible to aspiring Americans, vulnerable populations, and American businesses.”


For more information, contact:

Maria Frausto at the American Immigration Council, [email protected] or 202-507-7526.

Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
[email protected]

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