FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2020
Contact: Courtney Holsworth
ILRC Statement on Preliminary Injunction of USCIS’ Fee Rule Imposing a Wealth Test for Citizenship, Unprecedented Costs on Asylum Applications
Melissa Rodgers, Director of Programs for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, issued the following statement on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California’s decision today to block the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from increasing application fees for immigration benefits, including citizenship and asylum. The DHS’s Fee Rule, which would have raised application fees for many essential immigration benefits by as much as 500 percent, while also eliminating most fee waivers for qualifying low-income immigrants, was set to go into effect on October 2, 2020.
“USCIS’ Fee Rule is unlawful and incredibly destructive, and we applaud the court’s decision to protect millions of immigrants and their families. The Rule, which disproportionately harms people of color, is a blatant attempt by the Trump administration to create financial barriers for asylum seekers, families, and would-be citizens in order to prevent them from obtaining United States residence or U.S. citizenship. This is immoral, classist and a blatant violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The injunction will ensure that millions of low income immigrants, applicants for naturalization, asylum seekers, survivors of domestic violence and survivors of human trafficking will be able to affordably apply for the immigration benefits they are eligible for.”
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit included the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and seven other leading immigrants rights organizations. More information on the lawsuit can be found here.
About the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policymakers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training and technical assistance, and policy development and advocacy, the ILRC protects and defends the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. As a key part of its mission, ILRC serves as the lead agency for the New Americans Campaign, a non-partisan national campaign aimed at increasing the number of new Americans by ensuring access to the naturalization process and trusted legal assistance.