Monday, February 25, 2013

Are steep fees discouraging immigrants from becoming US citizens?

I'm sure this is daunting to most immigrants, it is probably the same as their rent and they might have more than one person who has to pay it.   - - Donna Poisl

by Leslie Berestein Rojas

Just in the last 15 years, the cost of becoming a U.S. citizen has risen dramatically. The application fee has risen from $95 in 1997 to almost $600 today. For many immigrants, this represents a big financial sacrifice. And it could be one of the main reasons why more of them don't pursue citizenship, a new report points out.

The report from the University of Southern California's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration connects the steep cost of obtaining U.S. citizenship to the nation's 8.5 million legal permanent residents who are eligible to apply for naturalization, but haven't done it.

With reference to related studies, it points out that in 2007, about 52 percent of legal permanent residents who were eligible to naturalize were low-income.
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