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The U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Similar but Unequal

By USCRI November 20, 2020

In early August 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced a final rule significantly raising the fees associated with certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests – by a weighted average of around 20 per cent.1 The agency included the decision to charge asylum seekers a $50 fee to submit an application. The agency, in its justification of the fee hikes, claimed that it did so on the basis that, As required by federal law, USCIS conducted a comprehensive biennial fee review and determined that current fees do not recover the cost of providing adjudication and naturalization services. DHS is adjusting USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 20% to help recover its operational costs. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by about $1 billion per year.2 USCIS is under the direction of DHS, the secretary of which holds a Cabinet post. As a fully-fledged department of the U.S. government, DHS has the authority to change the fees under section 31 of the U.S. Code as long as it goes through the process outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).3

Read the full report 9_21_20_Brief_USCIS_USPS (1)


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