As Enelly Betancourt, editor and staff writer for LNP Media Group’s Spanish language website La Voz Lancaster reported in Sunday’s LNP ‘ LancasterOnline, immigrants seeking permanent status and citizenship in the United States face steep fees that are set to become even steeper. Betancourt reported that this summer, “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a component of the Department of Homeland Security, announced it is increasing immigration fees, including adding a ($50) first-ever fee for asylum applicants and an increase for naturalization services beginning Oct. 2. With the change, the N-400 application fee will soar 83% to $1,170 for paper filing (or 81% to $1,160 if filed online).” The fee for biometric services — fingerprinting, photos, etc. — will drop, but not nearly enough to cover the hike in the application fee. Those fees are nonrefundable, “regardless of whether the application is approved or rejected,” Betancourt noted. The N-400 is an application for citizenship for those with permanent resident status.
Remember when President Ronald Reagan invoked the language of Puritan John Winthrop to describe the United States as a “shining city on a hill” for people around the globe facing danger and hardship?