On Tuesday, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a proposal to change the rules in regards to their fee schedule. The idea for the proposal is that the overall fee will be increased by the Department of Homeland Security to $640 from the current fee of $595, but that a reduced fee of just $320 will be charged to applicants for naturalization whose family income falls between 150 and 200% of the Federal Policy Guidelines.
Of the 8.8 million people currently eligible for US citizenship, around one million would actually be eligible for the waiver, including more than 22,000 people in Manhattan. Many of the working poor in NY state have previously been unable to defeat the financial barriers blocking their way to become citizens, but the partial fee waiver could change that for a lot of people.
The MIRA Coalition’s Executive Director, Eve Millona, who also serves as the co-chair for the National Partnership of New Americans, says that the new waiver will no longer see millions of individuals restricted from gaining US citizenship but actually allow a hardworking and diverse group to be able to pursue the American Dream and integrate more fully into their communities.
MIRA has for some years been working alongside the National Partnership for New Americans in order to increase access to US citizenship for poor workers. They also hold clinics where qualified immigrants are assisted when filling out the citizenship application paperwork by specially trained volunteers.