Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

Take Action to Keep Fee Waivers for Citizenship Applications

Nov 20 2018    Action Archive

Action Deadline: November 27, 2018

The Trump administration has now proposed a regulation change that will prevent an estimated hundreds of thousands of elderly and working poor immigrants from becoming United States citizens every year.

Current policy allows for immigrants to receive a partial or full fee waiver if they cannot afford the $725 in fees to apply for citizenship, among applications and their fees. In late September, the administration proposed prohibiting the use of income-verified public benefits as a way of establishing that inability to pay. This will result in over 244,000 elderly and working poor immigrants being unable to obtain their dream of US citizenship every year. The Trump administration would like to turn US citizenship into a privilege limited to only wealthy immigrants – and this is profoundly un-American.  

As a member of the National Partnership of New Americans (NPNA), we are inviting you all to use this toolkit and its template comment in order to submit commentsThe toolkit also has talking points and template social media posts. NPNA’s Fact Sheet on the proposed regulation has background on fee waivers and the impact of the proposed regulation.

The proposed regulation would reverse a victory that we gained during the Obama administration, which was for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to waive fees for citizenship and other applicants who could not afford the expensive application fees. One way to show this inability to pay was through applicants’ use of means-tested public benefits (like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, and TANF). The proposed regulation would make that use of public benefits no longer a sufficient reason for receiving a fee waiver, effectively blocking hundreds of thousands of eligible immigrants from citizenship because they cannot afford it. 

Submit a comment today!