Here’s a question that takes us down into the weeds on the subject of immigration and asylum. Doing all the work required to process an application for citizenship or asylum by an alien costs money. Given the number of people we’re processing these days, it adds up to quite a bit. So who pays for that? While it may come as a surprise to some, it’s actually not supposed to be the taxpayers. The costs incurred by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is primarily funded by fees charged to those seeking admission to the country. Or at least it would be if we were taking in enough money to pay for it all.
With that in mind, the Trump administration is proposing a revamp of the current fee structure, increasing the cost for immigration applications and adding a new fee for asylum claims. (Via Bronson Stocking at Townhall)
The Trump administration plans to raise fees on various immigration applications and impose a $50 fee on asylum claims, the Daily Caller has reported.
In a statement released on Friday, Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli said that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency funded almost entirely by fees, will be raising fees in order to match increasing expenditures. The administration’s proposed fee rule will be added to the Federal Register on Nov. 14.
“USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures, just like a business, and make adjustments based on that analysis. This proposed adjustment in fees would ensure more applicants cover the true cost of their applications and minimizes subsidies from an already over-extended system, ” Cuccinellii said.
As usual, the actual reason for this change is very different from how it’s already being put through the spin cycle in the media. The reality is that USCIS is currently projected to be underfunded to the tune of $1.3 billion this year. These fee changes would go at least some way toward closing the gap.
And how did we get so far in the hole? As Stocking reported, consider that there were 6,382 pending asylum cases in January of 2010. As of January of this year, there were 325,277 pending affirmative asylum cases. And every one of them takes time and manpower to record, investigate and process.
That didn’t stop the press from going hog wild about the Bad Orange Man, however. Newsweek talked about Trump “weaponizing government fees” against asylum seekers. CBS News described the proposal as the Trump administration’s “latest move to restrict pathways for obtaining asylum and immigration benefits like U.S. citizenship.”
CNN stopped short of claiming that the new fee system would include seizing puppies from children arriving at the border but not by much.
Still, the latest move to charge a fee for asylum applications could prove to be yet another challenge for migrants seeking refugee in the US. Many Central American migrants apprehended at the US-Mexico border over the last year have sought asylum. The Trump administration has introduced a series of polices aimed at dramatically limiting who’s eligible for asylum in the US.
In reality, these fees have been reviewed on a regular basis and slowly increased. If they are increasing faster now it’s because the rate of incoming applicants is growing exponentially. If the people doing the complaining want all of these costs dumped onto the general funds supported by taxpayers, they should get the Democrats to put that proposal into a legislative bill.