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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2019

GLOBAL CLEVELAND Opposes Exorbitant Fee Hikes for Citizenship, DACA, and Other Forms of Status

Proposal Would Price out Working Class and Low-Income Immigrants who Already Struggle with High Cost of Application Fees

November 11, 2019 –  Today, GLOBAL CLEVELAND as a member of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), condemns the Trump administration’s proposed fee hikes that seeks to limit access to citizenship, asylum, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and other immigration benefits to those who are eligible.

This announcement comes one week after NPNA, its members, and national allies stood with U.S. Representatives Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Jesús García (D-Ill.), and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) who acted with foresight to protect access to citizenship and the legal immigration process when they introduced the New Deal for New Americans Act, a bill that would write into law the protections needed to prevent the administration’s discriminatory proposal from going into effect.

The proposed rule would increase the U.S. citizenship application fee by 83 percent, changing it from $640 to $1,170. It would also increase the fee for DACA renewals from $495 to $765, giving Trump a tool to prevent DREAMers from applying, if the U.S. Supreme Court allows the program to continue.

Additionally, it would add a $50 fee for certain asylum applications. If implemented, the fees would make the U.S. just the fourth country in the world to charge those seeking asylum.

“The proposed fee increase is a shameful barrier that, if implemented, will limit access to citizenship based on wealth and class and undermine our values as a welcoming and diverse nation with equal opportunity,” said, Joe Cimperman, President of Global Cleveland, “Instead of making it harder for low-income and working class immigrants to naturalize, we need federal leadership and legislation that invests in them, expands access, and benefits us all.”

The proposal would also take $207.6 million that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) collects from application fees and transfer it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for enforcement purposes.

“As a community organization that helps low-income and working-class immigrants naturalize and obtain other immigration statuses every day, we know how difficult and cost-prohibitive application fees already are,” said, Joe Cimperman, President of Global Cleveland, “This is why we condemn this rule, that seeks to limit access to what people are eligible for and recommit to working so that all of our community members are welcome here.”

Contact Elizabeth Cusma for more information:  elizabeth@globalcleveland.org

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