Trump Administration Officials Are Pushing New Immigration Fees—Including for Asylum Applications and DACA Renewals

According to reporting from BuzzFeed News, Trump Administration officials are actively pushing new and increased immigration fees. Not only is President Trump proposing a new rule that would require asylum seekers to pay a fee, but administration officials are also moving forward on increased fees across several different types of immigration applications. Here, our immigration attorneys offer an overview of the proposed fees. 

Homeland Security Briefing Documents: Proposed Immigration Fees

BuzzFeed News obtained briefing documents used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The documents make it clear that the Trump Administration wants to transfer more money to ICE for immigration enforcement operations. One of the tactics that administration officials are pursuing to get access to additional revenues is increasing immigration fees and creating new immigration fees. The DHS documents include the following three proposals: 

  1. Increase in Naturalization Fee: As of right now, it costs $640 to submit the N-400, Application for Naturalization. The Trump Administration wants to raise this fee to a staggering $1,170. The proposed fee is especially unfortunate because the current naturalization fee is already prohibitively expensive for some applicants. If finalized the revised fee would represent an 83 percent increase. 
  2. New Fee for DACA Renewals: The administration is also pushing a new application fee for DACA renewals. The DACA program—which is set for a showdown before the Supreme Court—has repeatedly been attacked by President Trump. The fee and the fate of DACA are still unclear, though some in the administration are pushing a hefty $500 DACA application fee. 
  3. New Fee for Asylum Applications: Finally, the administration will be hiking the fee for asylum applications. The new rule proposes a $50 fee for asylum applications and an additional $490 work permit fee for all asylum seekers. 

Though the Trump Administration is aggressively moving forward in its rollout of the proposed immigration fees, none of them have yet been finalized. The proposals must go through the standard rule making and review process before any fees become official. 

Only Three Countries Charge Fees to Asylum Applicants

By definition, migrants apply for asylum because they are fleeing persecution in their home country. In most cases, asylum seekers are also facing a tremendous amount of financial stress. Indeed, many asylum seekers are prevented from working for months or even years. In attempting to charge migrants who wish to apply for asylum, the Trump Administration would put the United States out of step with the rest of the world. Currently, only three countries—Iran, Australia, and Fiji—charge a fee to asylum seekers. 

We Advocate for Immigrants in California

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our immigration attorney are committed to serving our clients with the highest level of integrity and professional skill. For a fully confidential assessment of your claim, please call us now. We serve communities throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles, Anaheim, Long Beach, East Los Angeles, Fullerton, Downey, and Pomona.