In a major development in the United States, the Trump administration announced on Friday (July 31) that it will increase US immigration fees that will require asylum seekers to pay the first ever fee. You will also see an increase in the fees for naturalization applications by more than 80 percent.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), responsible for the country’s immigration and naturalization system, said in its announcement that the new fee structure is likely to take effect by October 2.
According to a CNN report, the cost of online naturalization applications has now been increased from $ 640 to $ 1,160 plus a fee of $ 50 for asylum seekers.
According to the Immigration Policy Institute, asylum seekers worldwide are not subject to payment of application fees. With this particular announcement, the United States is now the fourth country after Australia, Fiji and Iran to impose asylum fees.
The decision came in the wake of the U.S. Citizens ’and Immigration Services’ services temporarily suspended due to the new Corona pandemic, which caused a significant budget shortfall and looming void.
Trump is working on a major immigration bill
On the other hand, Trump said his administration was working on what he called a “big immigration bill.”
Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday before a trip to Florida that the bill would be “based on merit,” the official Xinhua news agency said.
In addition, he said, the department is working with representatives of Deferred Action to Reach Childhood (DACA), a program that gives undocumented immigrants who are brought into the country as children’s permissions to live and work legally.
Trump made these remarks just days after his administration announced that it was reviewing the DACA and that it would reject new requests.
DACA, created by an administrative memo in 2012 by the former Barack Obama administration, previously gave recipients a renewable delay of two years from deportation and made them eligible for work permits, driver licenses, and health insurance.
DACA recipients, estimated at 700,000, are called “dreamers”.
Trump, which made abolishing the program a key part of his tough immigration policy, announced his intentions to abolish the DACA in September 2017.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Trump stepped up steps to restrict immigration.
Critics have argued that he is using the epidemic to advance his political agenda and attract his constituents as the November elections approach.
(With IANS input)