Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Citizenship on sale

A year ago the citizenship office (USCIS) was swamped with applications for naturalization. People were all of a sudden anxious to become citizens.

Why? Well the price was going up. The fees jumped from $400 to $675 and they wanted to get in before the increase.

So, in this election year, how are things going? Not so good. In fact, worse than before they announced the increase. Here’s the tally for each year (January through June):
2003 269,689
2004 379,276
2005 321,578
2006 397,299
2007 686,816
2008 281,198

Latino activists blame the decrease on the economy, saying these immigrants can’t afford the additional $275. That’s an indictment on our failed system if you ask me. We obviously are not inviting immigrants who are self-supporting if after at least seven years in the United States an increase of $275 keeps them from obtaining the most important piece of paper in their entire lives!

Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez said, “Citizenship shouldn't be for the wealthy.”

And Obama said at the time the new fee schedule was announced, “Setting sky high immigration application fees could deter immigrants from following a legal path citizenship, sending those that played by the rules into the shadows.” (Or they could go on in their Green Card status until they saved the $275. He can’t explain that one because it doesn’t make any sense…but typical Obama rhetoric sounds soooo good.)

And Jan Schakowsky said, “Instead of making it more expensive and more difficult to become a citizen, we should create a fairer system that provides immigrants with an affordable and reasonable path to citizenship. Under the current proposal, the USCIS would discourage immigrants from becoming full and active participants in our society.”

And all these groups agree with these politicians that higher fees are unacceptable, even if they are the actual costs of processing the applications:

The National Council of La Raza, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the National Immigration Forum, the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Asian American Justice Center, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Legal Momentum, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, and the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.

Link here:

Three observations from Alien Rants:
1) The price wouldn’t be so high if we hadn’t left the door open on 9/11, causing much more careful background checks.
2) Why do we insist on allowing such a high number of low-skilled people from the Third World who need a subsidy for the processing fee?
3) It’s too bad some of these politicians aren’t going to get those new voters they were counting on.

No comments:

Post a Comment