Immigrant Rights Network urges the Biden administration not to move forward with fee increases in its proposed regulation
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an unpublished proposed rule that, if implemented, will increase certain immigration and naturalization application fees, including family-sponsored and employment-based visas, and other immigration benefits. The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a leading network of 60 immigrant rights organizations in 40 states, strongly urges the Biden administration to reject the proposed regulation, which, if it goes into effect, will disproportionately impact low-income and working communities seeking green cards or family reunions through non-immigrant petitions and employment-related visas. NPNA urges individuals and organizations to submit comments against the proposed rule.
“Citizenship and other immigration benefits remain out of reach for so many lower-income individuals that even nominal fee increases will exacerbate current disparities in access,” said Nicole Melaku, Executive Director of NPNA. “This rule, if implemented, will price out eligible low-income and working-class families from green cards, deepen the cost of citizenship by 19%, and make it more difficult to reunite with family members abroad – which already saw a 33% increase in green cards and a 35% – 101% rise in family petitions. At the same time, as we grapple with a massive labor shortages and the continued economic fallout of the post-COVID economy, these increases could potentially undermine recent successes that USCIS has achieved towards reducing citizenship backlogs and restoring good faith among USCIS and potential applicants.”
The USCIS proposed regulation, scheduled to be published on Jan 4, 2023, will be open for public comment for 60 days. NPNA urges individuals and stakeholder organizations to advocate against the proposed rule. Once this period closes on Monday, March 6, the federal government has a legal obligation to review and address substantive comments before finalizing the regulation, which can take several additional months. A previous fee-raising regulation by the Trump administration was blocked by a federal court just days before it was set to go into effect in October 2020 (after being proposed in November 2019).
Full list of price increases and elements of this rule, which is not effective yet, available here.
Mynellies Negrón | (703) 585-6727 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a national multiethnic, multiracial organization that represents 60 of the largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 40 states. Its members provide large-scale services for the communities, to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy. Learn more at partnershipfornewamericans.org.