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Immigration Fees Spike Plan Is Covert Attempt to Increase Illegal Immigration

Phillipines News | February 07, 2007
Jun Ilagan

This is a genius scam on the part of the globalists who want to destroy this country through floods of illegal immigration: As USCIS demands more from those who seek to immigrate legally, its actually increasing the likelihood that they will instead enter the country illegally because the fees are so completely beyond their means. As a result, the Department of Homeland Security can claim that there is not enough funding to adequately defend the border and thus allow even more illegal immigrants to pour into the U.S. Its a perfect paradox that ensures a massive flow of illegal immigrants across the border. Chertoff has already been floating this paradoxical idea during his presentations to Congress as reported in a recent Miami Herald article:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday that the fee increase has already been factored into the agency's budget and that blocking it ''would be a big problem for this Congress. Either we would have to go back to the days of backlog, or we would have to decide to hire fewer border patrols or have less technology,'' he said, testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee.

THE United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced it has submitted a proposal to increase the fees for immigration applications and petitions.

The proposed fee increases range from $65 to as much as $2,350, depending on the type of immigration or naturalization application the applicant is seeking. Across the board, the proposal highlights an average increase for application and petition fees of approximately 86 percent.

USCIS claims, however, the increase in actual costs will be only 66 percent because applicants for adjustment of status will no longer be required to pay a fee to apply for interim benefits.

The agency said that the fee structure it hopes to implement in the summer of 2007 will provide adequate funding for improving customer service and delivery of benefits, enhancing national security and public safety and modernizing the agency's infrastructure for increased efficiency.

At the same time, USCIS said, the adjustment aims to make the fees truly reflective of rising administrative, overhead and overall operating costs. The agency insists current fees do not cover the full costs involved in processing each application or petition.

“As a fee-based agency, we must be able to recover the costs necessary to administer an efficient and secure immigration system that ultimately improves service delivery, prevents future backlogs, closes security gaps and furthers our modernization efforts,” said USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez.

The detailed report and proposal available online for public review ( www.regulations.gov ) shows the agency has marginally increased fees since its last comprehensive fee review in 1998, when fees increased approximately 76 percent.

The adjustments – last made in October 2005 and prior to that, in February 2002 — had only been made due to inflation and did not reflect true processing and operating costs, the USCIS report said.

According to the proposal, the new fee structure will enable a 20 percent reduction in average application processing times by the end of fiscal year 2009. More significantly, it will cut processing times by the end of fiscal year 2008 for four key application types that represent a third of all applications filed.

These application types are the I-90 (Renew/Replace Permanent Resident Card), I-140 (Immigration Petition for Alien Worker) and I-485 (Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident), which will improve from six to four months processing time, and the N-400 (Naturalization), which will improve from seven to five months processing time.

Of the four, however, the I-485 and N-400 are the application types most commonly filed by Filipinos in the United States.

As of fiscal year ending September 2005, according to USCIS records, more than 60,000 Filipinos in the country filed the I-485 form and sought a change in residence status, from temporary to permanent.

USCIS currently charges $325 per I-485 applicant. Under the proposed increase, the application fee rises to $905.

The application fee for citizenship (N-400), on the other hand, is proposed to be adjusted from the present $330 to $595. More than 36,000 Filipino residents filed for naturalization during the fiscal year 2005 ending September 30.

The USCIS proposal on increasing fees and the promise it holds of improved service and shorter processing times are met with varied reactions from the Filipino community.

A few are skeptical, like Daniel Escalona of Sacramento, who acquired his citizenship two years ago.

“I was satisfied with the service of the agency and the processing time, and I believe most Filipinos feel the same way,” he told Philippine News. “So, why fix something that is not broken?”

South San Francisco's Roberto Morales is unperturbed. He has just recently filed his application for citizenship and paid the current fee. Assuming the USCIS approves his citizenship bid, however, the new fees would have already taken effect when he petitions his fiancé in the Philippines. In this case, he would have to pay $455 instead of the current $170 for I-129F applications.

Still, Morales maintains a positive attitude.

“That is still a small price compared to the joy the reunion would bring to both of us,” he remarked. “She is the reason why I filed for citizenship in the first place.”

Nella Galvez of Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area, on the other hand, just might have to postpone filing her application for naturalization.

“I'm already qualified to apply and have saved up for it,” she said. “If they increase the fee, I just might use the money to visit my parents in Manila. I am not in a hurry anyway.”

Raniel Ventura of River Vale, New Jersey expressed a similar view: “Right now, I have no immediate plans of becoming an American citizen. The green card entitles me to all the benefits and privileges of a permanent resident anyway. Only, I cannot vote and apply for a federal job.”

But for a newly arrived temporary resident in Queens, New York, the options are limited. She has good chances of getting a change in resident status before her current visa expires, but coming up with $905 on demand, so to speak, would prove challenging.

“I have barely saved up the current fee of $325,” she complained. “Where will I get the additional amount, considering I can't have a job?”

Immigration reform compared to civil rights
Miami Herald | February 9, 2007

President Bush's temporary worker proposal has a better chance of passing in Congress this year, and if it does, it will be as significant a milestone in U.S. history as the civil rights movement, the head of the immigration and citizenship agency said Friday.

''Immigration, as we all know, is the hot-button domestic issue of the day,'' Emilio Gonzalez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. ``And I'll go one step further and I'll tell you that immigration reform is probably as important as the civil rights movement was back in the `60s.''

Gonzalez' remarks at the chamber's immigration seminar marked the first time that a senior-level federal immigration official has cast the effort to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants as a historic endeavor. Gonzalez' statements also amounted to the strongest indication yet that the administration expects Congress will pass a measure to legalize many of the nation's estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants.

Gonzalez said he had met Thursday afternoon with President Bush, and ``I can tell you that he's as committed to comprehensive reform as he's always been.''

Efforts to rewrite immigration law failed last year when the House and Senate passed radically different bills that neither chamber ever reconciled.

Gonzalez, a Cuban-American who arrived in the United States when he was 4 years old after his parents fled the communist island, would lead the effort to process work permits for the millions of undocumented immigrants who would be allowed to apply for status if Congress approves a legalization bill.

USCIS considers applications for asylum, citizenship, green cards and work permits. Gonzalez recently announced a proposal for hefty application filing fee increases in a bid, he says, to improve and modernize service and quicken document delivery times.

''USCIS is run just like any modern-day international corporation,'' he said, noting his agency, with a $2 billion budget, oversees 16,000 workers, including contractors.

Members of Congress have criticized the proposed fee hikes as excessive and the chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship has asked Gonzalez to appear before her Wednesday to defend the increase.

''I'm entirely opposed to the doubling of citizenship fees,'' said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has suggested that Congress should pony up some of the money.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday that the fee increase has already been factored into the agency's budget and that blocking it ''would be a big problem for this Congress. Either we would have to go back to the days of backlog, or we would have to decide to hire fewer border patrols or have less technology,'' he said, testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee.

Many businesses may not be prepared for the impending changes comprehensive reform will bring, especially since so few have participated in the government's voluntary Web-based program, called Basic Pilot, to verify workers' status.

Most proposals for immigration reform call for new laws that would mandate, for example, that companies participate in some sort of federal employment verification program. The only requirement employers currently have is to fill out an I-9 form.

Miami-based corporate immigration lawyer Jorge Lopez thinks few South Florida employers are prepared to face what may be required by the new laws.

''It's not because they don't want to participate,'' said Lopez, a partner with Jackson Lewis who participated in an afternoon discussion with Wal-Mart's in-house immigration lawyer. ``The bottom line is, they're not sure what it's all about.''

In answers to questions after his speech, Gonzalez said he believed that prospects for passage of immigration reform in Congress were ''much better this year than last year'' because the administration is working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress on a compromise that he did not outline.

After the session, Gonzalez explained why he compared immigration reform to the civil rights movement.

''The changes would be almost as dramatic,'' he told The Miami Herald. ``We are talking about how we treat 12 million people that are here, that are in the shadows. . . . This is a comprehensive reform that if enacted is going to change the complexity of America, change what America looks like. It's going to say a lot about us.''


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