Posted by: bridget | 31 January 2007

Immigration Fees to Rise

The Bush administration has announced an increase in immigration fees from $330 to $595, which would give the US Citizenship and Immigration Services an extra $1 billion annually.  The agency is funded entierly by fees and does not receive money from taxes.

Critics complain that this move will be harder for the poor and is therefore discriminatory against the less-wealthy and less educated.  That argument is completely true but applies to every single fee increase imaginable.  The bulk of America’s immigrants are here because they want to be here, not because we requested their presence.  As such, it is not unreasonable to ask that they, not the current citizens, cover the costs of their change in residence.  America already has a series of requirements that people seeking permanent residency or citizenship be able to work and support themselves.  A person who is unable to afford the extra $265 would presumptively not be in this category.  This is a country of immigrants, but those immigrants came here seeking capitalism, not socialism.

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