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Mayor Hancock Demands Trump Administration Nix Exorbitant Fee Hike Proposal

Proposed rule would price out working class and low-income immigrants who already struggle with high cost of application fees for citizenship, DACA, asylum and other immigration benefits

Denver - Mayor Michael B. Hancock today joined over 50 mayors in sending the Trump administration a letter demanding that it withdraw a proposed regulation that would increase immigration application fees, eliminate most fee waivers, and transfer funds from application fees to immigration enforcement. 

“Denver joins our fellow diverse and welcoming communities across the nation in demanding that access to citizenship and other immigration benefits not be cut off for low-income and working class immigrants,” Mayor Hancock said. “The proposed fee increases send the wrong message. Today, we stand together in affirming that the American Dream and the promise of opportunity should not have a wealth test. Denver welcomes and embraces our immigrant residents and communities, and we will never support attempts to keep people from having a better life for themselves and their families.”

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 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals from $495 to $765, adding yet another obstacle by the Trump administration 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 rule would eliminate most fee waivers, despite last week a federal judge placing a nationwide preliminary injunction on the administration’s previous, separate effort to eliminate fee waivers for certain immigrants. 

The proposal would also take $112 million that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) collects from application fees and transfer it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for enforcement purposes.

The comment period for the rule, which could go into effect as early as Spring 2020, remains open until December 30th, less time than what the mayors and advocates requested.