Individuals seeking U.S. citizenship and immigrants seekings asylum are now going to have to foot more of the bill.
Fox News reports that the Trump administration has announced a new charge for asylum seekers and a significant increase in the fees for U.S. citizenship.
The Citizenship and Immigration Services agency is having trouble staying afloat.
The agency gets its funding almost entirely from fees relating to the services that it provides, and the existing fees just weren’t getting the job done. And, the coronavirus was only making matters worse.
According to the agency, under the existing fees, the agency would be roughly $1 billion underfunded at the end of the year. With this in mind, the agency at one point even decided that it was going to have to let go over two-thirds of its employees.
The simple fact is that the services provided are not cheap. An affirmative asylum application, for example, costs the agency around $1,800.
Distributing the costs
The Trump administration has thus decided to help the agency make ends meet by asking those seeking asylum or citizenship to pay more of the bill.
Now, those seeking asylum will be charged a $50 fee. Here, though, it should be noted that this will only apply to asylum claims made from within the United States – not those claims that come from those crossing into America from Mexico, for example.
In addition, the cost of an application for U.S. citizenship will now be $1,160, which represents an 81 percent increase. There is, however, a $10 reduction in these fees for those who apply online.
The Citizenship and Immigration Services released a statement explaining that it is “required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures, and make adjustments based on that analysis. These overdue adjustments in fees are necessary to efficiently and fairly administer our nation’s lawful immigration system, secure the homeland and protect Americans.”
Sounds good to us
This change is already being condemned by critics, especially the asylum fee. But, there is a certain logic to the idea of bills being paid by those who create them.
The new fees are expected to go into effect in October.