Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fees deter many from citizenship

Citizenship application fees seem to be the main reason so many eligible immigrants are not becoming citizens. - - Donna Poisl

Advocates say cuts in services also play role

By Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff

Nearly 300,000 legal immigrants in Massachusetts are eligible to become US citizens, but only a small percentage each year are reaching that goal, raising concerns that huge swaths of people are being priced out of the American dream.

Fees to apply for citizenship have soared in the past two decades from $60 a person to $675, making them among the highest in the Western world, researchers say. At the same time, assistance for navigating the often confusing system is dwindling because of state budget cuts.
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