What Do YOU Think: Should the Immigration Fee Hikes Be Revoked?

Check this out! The Register is reporting today that Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) is intoducing legislation to reverse the recent fee increases for immigration services. As of now, fees for most immigration services have been increased with the hikes taking effect together. For instance, the cost of naturalization is increasing by 69 percent to $675 for each application, including the cost of fingerprinting. So who can afford the fee hikes? Probably not most of the people who want to come here, and are trying to make it here legally.

“Our immigration services need to move into the 21st century,” Lofgren said in a statement. “But USCIS has consistently failed to explain or justify the amounts and distributions of this new fee increase. After repeated requests over several months, USCIS has yet to provide Congress with a detailed plan for its infrastructure modernization efforts. Our immigration system should be both effective and fair. Sacrificing one to achieve the other should not be an option.”

So what do YOU think about this? Do you think these fee hikes for immigration services are justified? Or should these fee hikes be revoked? Is this a good way to raise money? Or will this discourage immigrants from coming here legally?

I know there’s been a “surge” of applications for US citizenship of late, as people sought to apply before the fee increases came into place. Even local elected officials like Assembly Member Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) have been offering citizenship workshops to help immigrants apply for citizenship ASAP, before the fee hikes came into place. So what happens now? Will immigrants now be discouraged from going through the legal process due to the excessively high costs?

Come on, now. You know what to do. Make my day- Fire away! :-)

  8 comments for “What Do YOU Think: Should the Immigration Fee Hikes Be Revoked?

  1. Long time politico
    July 31, 2007 at 8:10 am

    By way of full disclosure, I am an advocate of legal immigration and an expanded guest worker program. The recent immigrants with whom I have worked have consistently been decent and hard-working people who deserve fair and honorable treatment. I thought that the Kennedy/Bush immigration reform showed leadership and bipartisanship in an era with little of either. Having said that . . .
    Let the market determine what price is too high. What is the market, you ask? What can the ‘coyotes’ charge and remain in business? That is the answer. The total administrative cost of becoming a citizen cannot afford to exceed the amount that an illegal immigrant presently bears to sneak into this country. This cost includes fees, fines, class costs, etc. Back taxes on unreported income would be above and beyond this amount, in my opinion.
    Does that start a discussion?

  2. Andrew Davey
    July 31, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Hell, yeah! Thanks, LTP.

    Now on one hand, I do appreciate Ted Kennedy’s efforts to build a bipartisan consensus behind comprehensive immigration reform. HOWEVER, I just didn’t like how the final “compromise bill” become a bunch of gobblety-goop bunched up with a “guest worker program” that would have done nothing more than become a provider of cheap slave labor for large corporations to continue to abuse and exploit. I hope that WHEN the issue is reexplored in 2009, that we can get more humane legislation that gives immigrants a chance to EARN legal status while NOT breaking up families and communities as a “guest worker program” with little or no opportunity for citizenship creates a permanent underclass of slave labor.

  3. Andrew Davey
    July 31, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Oh yes, and with that being said:

    I agree with you that the cost of legal immigration should NOT exceed the cost of illegal immigration. That’s why these fee hikes concern me. We should ENCOURAGE immigrants to come here the legal way, and I doubt that we’re doing that by making the legal way so exorbitantly pricey. Personally, I think these fees should be revoked.

    OK, so does any one disagree with me and LTP? If so, please respond and tell me why I’m wrong! ;-)

  4. Long time politico
    July 31, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Andrew, you have missed my point. The ‘coyotes’ do not work for free and we should charge logical fees to legal immigrants. My reading indicates that illegal immigrants using these dispicable merchants of human beings pay between $5,000 and $10,000 to bring them here from Central America. I will readily admit no first hand experience with this process.
    I do not support no fees. I support a clear-eyed study of the current illegal cost structure to determine what the market will bear. That is a logical and responsible approach, in my opinion.

  5. July 31, 2007 at 9:02 am

    damn. $675!!! that’s my rent! (and i live in DC where COL is high). now imagine some poor, hardworking immigrant from mexico sharing a one bedroom apartment with 2 other families trying to do the right thing and become naturalized. i’m sorry, but the cost alone is a disincentive.

  6. Andrew Davey
    July 31, 2007 at 9:30 am

    LTP: No, I get what you’re saying… I just don’t know if you got what I said. I’m not saying that citizenship should be free. I’m just saying that it should be an AFFORDABLE OPTION.

    OCGirl: Right on! If we want people to come here LEGALLY, than we should make the legal option accessible and affordable. After all, wouldn’t that ultimately be more cost-effective for us than trying all these draconian “enforcement only” measures to kick out all the brown people?

    Just sayin’… ;-)

  7. July 31, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    thanks, andrew. i don’t get the drive to kick out my fellow brown folks (just the illegal ones). there is always going to be a need for cheap labor. and what people here don’t understand (not everyone but most people who want to deport all the illegals) is that these people who come here by any means necessary are desperate. Desperate to escape whatever crap hole they come from. Desperate to provide a better life for themselves and/or their families. Desperate to provide a better future for their children.

    as long as the countries these undocumented immigrants are coming from are impoverished, with corrupt governments, run by drug cartels, etc., there will always be immigrants. and for most of these people, their circumstances are so dire that they will do anything to get to the US. if your family’s well-being is at stake, would you seriously wait months, years for a visa?

  8. Andrew Davey
    July 31, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I couldn’t have possibly said it better, OCgirl. These immigrants are struggling to just SURVIVE… So why do we expect them to go through a multi-year, multi-thousand dollar process to come here legally? This is pure INSANITY!

    So what should we do then? Let’s make the process more affordable and less time-consuming. Fix the backlog. Revoke the fee increases. Make the process sane, for once!

    Should the immigration process consist of nothing? NO. However, it shouldn’t be so difficult that it ENCOURAGES ILLEGAL ENTRY INTO THIS NATION. Jeez, when will more folks realize this?

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