Action Alert: Sign-On Letter to Lower the Naturalization Fee!
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez just published a powerful op-ed in the New York Times about how the high cost of citizenship prices out promising New Americans.
Their concerns over ever-rising naturalization fees strengthen the work the National Partnership for New Americans has been doing as part of our “Becoming Americans” campaign, to allow hardworking immigrants to pursue their dream of becoming U.S. citizens.
The Partnership is calling on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.) to examine its fee structure and to reduce the costs of U.S. citizenship, especially for the working poor. We are also calling on Congress to recognize the value of citizenship by investing in immigrant integration and putting naturalization fees within reach for our newest Americans.
The time is ripe to consider these changes given the focus on comprehensive immigration reform in Congress.
Research Shows: Naturalization Fees Make a Difference
In February, the Partnership released a report along with the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII), Nurturing Naturalization: Could Lowering the Fee Help?, which found that high naturalization fees have priced out hardworking immigrants who wish to become citizens.
The report shows that as fees have risen over the last decade, applicants with less than a high school diploma have plummeted by more than half while there are 40 percent fewer Mexican immigrants applying for citizenship. In both cases, over half of these declines have occurred since a huge fee increase in 2007.
Sign a letter asking U.S.C.I.S Director Alejandro Mayorkas to restructure the fee below in a sensible manner that would create a sliding scale based on household income and family size, and help make the American Dream a reality for millions of people waiting to apply.