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USCIS Fee Increases: Dollars and Sense?

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  • USCIS Fee Increases: Dollars and Sense?

    06/10/2010
    USCIS Fee Increases: Dollars and Sense?
    With USCIS filing fees spewing higher than the BP oil spill, you'd think the President and Congress would be holding press conferences to propose a legislative fix.

    But, alas, immigrants cannot vote, so who cares?

    Perhaps their U.S. citizen spouses, parents, sons and daughters, siblings and employers who have sponsored them for green cards and temporary working visas. Also, the Immigration Examiners who may lose their jobs as ever-higher filing fees deter immigrants from applying for naturalization and other immigration benefits.

    Back when I worked as an INS Citizenship Attorney, the cost of applying for U.S. citizenship was a mere $15. Over the years, the costs doubled and tripled until the filing fees were several hundred dollars. When the USCIS raised the filing fee for naturalization to $675 in 2007, the number of new applications dropped from 1.4 million to just over 525,000 in a single year.

    Yesterday, I accompanied a client to her naturalization interview in San Francisco. The waiting room was practically empty. What a depressing change from a few years ago when so many immigrants were applying for U.S. citizenship that the waiting rooms were all SRO.

    Under the proposed USCIS rule which will appear in the Federal Register tomorrow, the cost of applying for a green card will increase from $930 to $985. The application fee for a family petition (I-130) will be $420, up from $355. The cost of an I-140 employment-based petition will rise over $100 and premium processing fees will increase by 22.5%.

    But don't blame the USCIS.

    Faced with a $200 million budget shortfall, the agency has no choice but to raise user fees. Congress, which pays billions of dollars each year to fund the largely-ineffective immigration enforcement system, won't spend a penny to help encourage green card holders to become U.S. citizens.

    So, what is the answer?

    We propose expanding the system of fines placed on those who commit minor infractions of our immigration laws. Congress needs to extend and expand the section 245i program which has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the USCIS in the past.

    It is obvious to almost everyone who follows immigration laws that the so-called "entitlement bars" are simply not working. They separate families and discourage persons from applying for immigration benefits. A more practical solution would be to impose fines on persons who would otherwise qualify for green cards except for a period of "unlawful presence" in the U.S. Why should those who play by the rules have to pay higher and higher application fees? Shouldn't those with minor immigration infractions be forced to pay fines to help subsidize the system?

    Write to your Senators and Members of Congress.
    Tell them that instead of increased application fees, you would like a policy that makes both dollars and sense.


    http://www.shusterman.com/cgi/...llars-and-sense.html

  • #2
    06/10/2010
    USCIS Fee Increases: Dollars and Sense?
    With USCIS filing fees spewing higher than the BP oil spill, you'd think the President and Congress would be holding press conferences to propose a legislative fix.

    But, alas, immigrants cannot vote, so who cares?

    Perhaps their U.S. citizen spouses, parents, sons and daughters, siblings and employers who have sponsored them for green cards and temporary working visas. Also, the Immigration Examiners who may lose their jobs as ever-higher filing fees deter immigrants from applying for naturalization and other immigration benefits.

    Back when I worked as an INS Citizenship Attorney, the cost of applying for U.S. citizenship was a mere $15. Over the years, the costs doubled and tripled until the filing fees were several hundred dollars. When the USCIS raised the filing fee for naturalization to $675 in 2007, the number of new applications dropped from 1.4 million to just over 525,000 in a single year.

    Yesterday, I accompanied a client to her naturalization interview in San Francisco. The waiting room was practically empty. What a depressing change from a few years ago when so many immigrants were applying for U.S. citizenship that the waiting rooms were all SRO.

    Under the proposed USCIS rule which will appear in the Federal Register tomorrow, the cost of applying for a green card will increase from $930 to $985. The application fee for a family petition (I-130) will be $420, up from $355. The cost of an I-140 employment-based petition will rise over $100 and premium processing fees will increase by 22.5%.

    But don't blame the USCIS.

    Faced with a $200 million budget shortfall, the agency has no choice but to raise user fees. Congress, which pays billions of dollars each year to fund the largely-ineffective immigration enforcement system, won't spend a penny to help encourage green card holders to become U.S. citizens.

    So, what is the answer?

    We propose expanding the system of fines placed on those who commit minor infractions of our immigration laws. Congress needs to extend and expand the section 245i program which has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the USCIS in the past.

    It is obvious to almost everyone who follows immigration laws that the so-called "entitlement bars" are simply not working. They separate families and discourage persons from applying for immigration benefits. A more practical solution would be to impose fines on persons who would otherwise qualify for green cards except for a period of "unlawful presence" in the U.S. Why should those who play by the rules have to pay higher and higher application fees? Shouldn't those with minor immigration infractions be forced to pay fines to help subsidize the system?

    Write to your Senators and Members of Congress.
    Tell them that instead of increased application fees, you would like a policy that makes both dollars and sense.


    http://www.shusterman.com/cgi/...llars-and-sense.html

    Comment


    • #3
      While I think the rise in fees is getting a bit out of hand lately, I do think they are justified. There is just so much training, work and man-hours that go into looking at and determining the validity of all of these applications. In my view, a one time fee of around a thousand dollars to be paid upon receipt of a green card is pretty fair. But, that does not mean we should be looking for more and more ways to squeeze cash out of these people.
      Always interested in the H1-B visa, the Eb-5 Visa Program and other Eb5 Investor Visa related issues.

      Comment


      • #4
        The USCIS is almost entirely funded through these fees. Very little of its money comes from the US taxpayer unlike every other Federal Government department.

        About the only good thing is the speed of processing these days which is much faster than in years gone by. That somewhat justifies the high cost of the fees but there's still room for improvement and lowering of costs.
        "What you see in the photograph isn't what you saw at the time. The real skill of photography is organized visual lying."

        Comment


        • #5
          Why the eff should I pay for some immigrant visa for some alien???? If they want a visa, they can pay. And for those who believe the fees are too onerous, just ask ole Proud or BritWan.ker to pay....they love immigrants of every flavor (legal or not), so I'm sure they'll be happy to pay.
          Besides, we, the American taxpayers, are already paying for illegal alien brats' education and medical bills...what more do the parasites of the world want??

          Comment


          • #6
            They want 'everything' and as long as they can count on pinko-commie-liberals they are set.

            Comment



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