UnidosUS Denounces Trump Administration’s Increase in Immigration Application Fees

WASHINGTON, DC— UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization (formerly known as National Council of La Raza), continues to oppose the latest attack on immigrants by the Trump administration that would increase fees for applicants to become a U.S. citizen or seek permanent resident (“green card”) status, and impose new fees on asylum seekers. These and other changes are harmful to American families, businesses and communities. UnidosUS calls on Congress to reject the fee increases and prohibit the new fees from going into effect.

The new fee schedule announced in the federal register could go into effect as soon as October 2, if not blocked by a court, and would drastically increase the cost of applying for citizenship. The new fee structure eliminates the fee waiver category for people who can demonstrate financial hardship, requiring them to pay the increased fee of $1,170 (or $1,160 if e-filed) and creating an unnecessary barrier to citizenship for millions of eligible applicants.

“Pricing out eligible permanent residents from citizenship is just the latest attack by the Trump administration on our community. It has gone after Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status holders, applicants for permanent residence, and now those who are on the verge of becoming U.S. citizens. Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that the Administration’s goal is really an all-out assault on the 60 million Latinos in the U.S. hasn’t been paying attention. That their policies also go against the interests of our economy and our country make them only more cruel and nonsensical,” says UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía.

Citizenship reinforces American democratic values, enriches civic culture, and strengthens local communities. Like past generations of newcomers, today’s immigrants have a desire to assume the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. Therefore, it is important that the naturalization process is accessible and efficient. While eligible immigrants are eager to take the necessary steps to become citizens and full participants in the United States, the fee increases place this achievement out of financial reach for too many, rendering policies inconsistent with U.S. economic interest and Americans’ shared goal of a strong, participatory democracy.