Friday, February 23, 2007

Maria Elena Salinas: Immigration fee increase is unfair

Univsion anchorwoman Maria Elena Salinas argued that a proposed increase in U.S. immigration fees is unjust and creates an undue burden on illegal immigrants willing to legalize their status. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, illegal immigrants who seek legal residency would see their fees jump from $350 to $645 while the fees to apply for a fiancé visa will skyrocket from $325 to $905. Salinas argued the following in her opinion column published earlier this week:

"Supposing for a minute that a person…would be willing to do whatever is necessary to become a legal resident or U.S. citizen, the new price increase would not benefit him or her in any way.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services claims that the higher fees will help it provide better service, better treatment and shorter waiting time for the applicants…The problem is that the ‘new and improved’ services wouldn't kick in until 2009.

Congress needs to take a serious look at this price hike. The fees have already been increased four times in the past decade. Immigrants from all over the world are willing to pay the high price of becoming an American, but they should not have to support a U.S. agency, especially when the great majority are already helping support this country with their work, their taxes and as consumers".

The proposed fee hike has support from Republicans in Congress, though Salinas noted that several immigrant advocates strongly disagree with the measure.

Links- Orange County Register, South Coast Today, VivirLatino, Voice of America, Arizona Daily Star

Image- National Association of Hispanic Journalists

1 comment:

Jenny Watson said...

It is totally unfair.