United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed a new rule that would make life much more difficult for refugees and asylum seekers. Under this new rule, fees for immigration processes will increase significantly.
The citizenship application fee will increase by 83% and fee waivers that help lower-income families afford to apply for citizenship will be completely eliminated. Work permits for people in the asylum process will cost $490 (up from $0), and even the basic human right of seeking asylum and protection will have a price tag if these new rules are passed.
I think about Maria* who came to Grand Forks and filed for asylum. She was not allowed to work until her asylum application was processed. This in and of itself took quite a bit of time to put together. How could she afford to pay $490.00 for a work permit when she couldn't work?
This rule change is up for public comment until December 16th. Please provide a comment to the USCIS. This is your chance to have your voice heard and let USCIS know that increasing the financial burden of people here for humanitarian reasons is, at best, irresponsible and short sighted.