If the proposal to raise the price is approved, it will enter into force on December 2; today November 14 opens the period for comments

The strong increase proposed by the Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) for naturalization applications and the DACA, is a blow given that many organizations that advocate for immigrants already saw coming, so they doubt that it can be reversed. The only good thing about the announcement is that it has motivated more people to hurry to do the citizenship process.

"That's why we told legal residents not to let more time pass to become citizens because we already saw more increases coming," says Francisco Moreno of the Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM).

The cost for the process for United States citizenship has been proposed to raise it from $ 725 to $ 1,175 without including the price for biometrics that include fingerprints to verify criminal records and photographs.

Many people are rushing to start their citizenship process before fees increase. / photo: file.

To renew the work permits for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a current cost increase of $ 495 has been proposed to $ 765.

“There is not much that can be done because the comment period that starts from November 14, and will last 30 days, is not even public,” says Moreno.

"The only thing we can tell people is to hurry to apply for citizenship so they don't have to pay more when the new policy comes into effect," says Moreno of COFEM. And he adds that it is a clear attempt to prevent more people from becoming citizens and voting against the re-election of President Trump.

The proposed increase would take effect on December 2.

A few weeks later, a new policy also comes into force on the same day to only exempt those who prove with their low-income tax returns. Previously, it was only enough to show that people received public benefits to qualify for payment forgiveness for the citizenship application.

Consuelo Magarro is assisted by Remigio Ruiz Jr. of the Todec Legal Center in Perris, California to fill out her application for United States citizenship. (photo provided).

Consuelo Magarro, who went to the TODEC Legal Center in the city of Perris, California to help you complete your citizenship application, says you expect to be exempted from payment under the previous USCIS policy, which was enough to present the documents that prove which is a beneficiary of MediCal, insurance for low-income people.

Magarro, an immigrant from Mexico City, has been a resident of the United States for 20 years, but had not processed citizenship due to neglect.

However, he decided to go lively because he wants to live in this country for his two 16 and 36 year old children who live here. "I don't want to get into politics, but another reason to become a citizen is I want to vote," says Consuelo, 59, who came to the US at the end of October 1989.

Luz Gallegos, director of community programs at the TODEC Legal Center, says that after it was announced that the Trump administration proposed increasing charges for some immigration applications, more people have come to their offices and workshops for help with naturalize.

"There is a big movement to rush to become citizens, and the energy of the people who want to vote are 100% ”, exposes.

Luz says that it will be very difficult for them to manage to reverse the proposed increases, but they will try to put pressure to delay the entry into force. "We have to motivate people to rush to apply for citizenship before costs increase so much," he says.

Many pro-immigrant leaders believe that the Trump administration is putting more and more obstacles for Latinos to naturalize Americans. Photo Belhú Sanabria / La Raza

Young people benefiting from DACA are also worried. "We already are because of the danger that the program will disappear, but now they come out with us who want to increase the cost," says Anai Molina who has had DACA since 2013.

"I am defeated by DACA in November 2020, but I am going to request renewal this month as a prevention to be canceled or to increase rates. I'm going to lose six months of my DACA permit, but it doesn't matter, I need to protect myself. ”he points out.

And deplores the sharp increase in the cost of DACA renewal. "It's a whole week of work, and a blow to those who earn the minimum wage," he says.

Angélica Salas, director of the Immigrant Rights Coalition (CHIRLA) says about the proposal to increase citizenship rates and the DACA, that the Trump administration is trying to build a second wall to prevent immigrants from adjusting their status, reunite with their families or become citizens of the United States.

"Today with these absurd new proposed increases, we have no doubt that Trump is building a second gold-plated wall to leave out millions of immigrant families who don't have the means to pay.r, ”he says.

And he mentions that while charges for services that help immigrants to be part of US society have steadily increased, delays in application processes have created lags of one to two years in some states.

“It is a shame that the Trump administration does not want to be a hospitable country, and that a racist, xenophobic, and white nationalist agenda seeks to reject everyone, except a few selected from outside the country. It's a shame, ”he says.


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