Trump Admin Plans to Make It Much More Expensive for Immigrants to Become Citizens

Immigrant rights groups are not happy that the Trump administration wants to raise the costs associated with becoming a citizen of the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a proposal on Thursday that would see the cost of citizenship applications rise by 83 percent, NBC News reported.

Citizenship application fees, currently set at $640, would go up to $1,170. Meanwhile, fees associated with legal permanent residency would increase from $1,220 to $2,195.

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The proposal is aimed at roughly 9 million Americans eligible for citizenship, according to NBC News.

Under the plan, $207.6 million in funding to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would be diverted to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Advocacy organizations say the move is rooted in anti-immigrant sentiment.

Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, told NBC News she sees the proposal as “a targeted and brazen attack especially on those who are poor and vulnerable.”

A campaign manger at the National Partnership for New Americans urged non-citizens to move quickly if they are eligible for naturalization.

“If you were lacking motivation before, it’s now even more important because this outrageous rule aims to price out low-income and working-class immigrants from U.S. citizenship and so many other immigration benefits,” said Diego Iñiguez-López in a statement to NBC News.

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In October, a group of Democratic reps. introduced legislation that would establish a flat application fee for naturalization and restrict U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ ability to raise fees without Congress’ approval.

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