The Trump administration has proposed fee changes to the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) applications, increasing the fee on naturalization by almost 200% among others.
By proposing this change, the administration is putting a class barrier on legal pathways of immigration that will disproportionately affect Latinx immigrants. So far, these are proposals but it is been estimated that, if approved the changes could go into effect as soon as March or April of this year. Ultimately, their plan is to take the increased income generated from the immigrant community to fund ICE to continue its terror campaign on our communities.
The most drastic change in fees is for the naturalization application and the application filed for DACA, which is used when permanent residents meet the time requirement to apply for citizenship. By increasing the fee, it will disenfranchise these immigrants for longer, immigrants that could be using their vote to stand up to anti-immigrant politicians threatening their families and livelihoods. The pathway to citizenship is already full of obstacles, something that’s been referred to in a Times article as an “invisible wall”, with fees and wait times making it almost impossible for some immigrants to do it the “right way”.
The fees for DACA renewals are subject to change from $495 to $760 if the proposal goes through, the change would cause many to lose their protections due to financial barriers. DACAmented immigrants rely on this work permit to pay bills, mortgages and tuition. Many young DACAmented students don’t qualify for most scholarships or financial aid because of their legal status. Adding this additional financial burden is clearly meant to discriminate against low-income Latinx immigrants. Since last year we have been fundraising to provide DACA renewal scholarships for local DACA recipients, in total we were able to give out 64 scholarships.
We continue to fight for dignity and respect for immigrants in this country. If you need help with your DACA renewal reach out to us. MRNV has started The Las Vegas Dream Fund specially for DREAMers in Nevada that are not able to pay the fees to renew their DACA application.