Skip to comments.Agency studies higher fees for immigrants
Posted on 05/31/2006 6:20:16 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - The Homeland Security Department is studying whether legal immigrants seeking citizenship and other benefits should pay higher application fees.
The fees now charged don't reflect the full cost of doing business, Emilio Gonzalez, director of the department's Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Wednesday.
Applying for citizenship now costs $330. Applying for a green card conveying legal residency costs $325. Applicants also now pay a $70 fingerprinting fee in each case.
"American citizenship is priceless," said Gonzalez, a naturalized citizen. "I think people will pay."
The study will review costs of facility improvements, training, equipment and technology and determine how much of a fee increase is needed to cover them. If the agency needs new facilities, it ought to be able to build them and pass on that cost, Gonzalez said.
The Senate passed a bill last week that would offer a chance at citizenship for many of the 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country. It would require the immigrants to pay at least $3,200 in fees to get on the path to citizenship. The bill must be negotiated with the House, which passed a very different bill focused on immigration enforcement.
The agency which is financed by the fees it collects for naturalization, permanent residency and work permit applications is required to do a fee analysis every two years. Its fees were last raised in 2004 to cover increased security costs.
Immigrant advocates have long argued that the agency's costs cannot all be absorbed by application fees and have pressed Congress to appropriate money to pay for some costs, such as fees for indigent, asylum or refugee applicants. Fees for such applicants are waived on occasion and the costs are included in charges to other applicants.
Crystal Williams, associate director for programs at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, welcomed the analysis, saying it would help decision makers comprehend the costs the agency faces.
But Rosalyn Gold, director of policy and research for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, said she is concerned the study could mean more fee increases.
On the Net:
Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov
Citizenship and Immigration Services: http://www.uscis.gov
American Immigration Lawyers Association: http://www.aila.org
Not to the US Senate.
Fee should be at least $5,000, which would cover everything. Immigrants of yesteryear used to bring all of their possessions and sold them at a chance of U.S. citizenship. Surely today's immigrants can do the same. The high fee would also bring in the skilled and productive immigrants.
And require a bond to cover public and/or medical services.
Money is not the issue its time, for every year these people stay in their home country they loose an amount more than the extra fee costs or more in wages after living expenses.
Meanwhile we are are being told by the in-comprehensive immigrant reformists that illegals are not getting amnesty because they will have to pay an extra penalty, but again, no mention of the time that the illegals will be spending in this country earring higher wages and enjoying all the same benefits as citizens, and the many years being given them to pay the extra penalty while waiting to become a "citizen".
So for all practical purposes, if the illegals are allowed to stay in the US while they are waiting for their citizenship, while the legal ones have to stay home over the same 10 year period, then the senate shamesty plan is just a rewarded for lawbreakers, compared to making them go home and wait in line in their native country like everyone else on the planet has to do,
But...but...it's not amnesty, the President told me it's not! So did John McCain! So did the Senate! It's not, it's not, it's not, and I'm going to hold my breath and call you a racist and say you want to elect Hillary president until you take it back!
I don't understand the attitude of people who want to make legal immigration even more onerous when the problem is with illegal immigrants who aren't affected by the new restrictions. I for one would be happy quadrupling the number of Mexicans allowed to enter this country legally if the government would actually stop the inflow of illegals.
There are serious problems with the 'green card'/visa application/programs and have got to be overhauled and implemented in better measure.