Jersey City to join NYC in court fight to oppose increase for immigration fees


Jersey City is poised to join New York City in a court fight to oppose immigration fees such as an increase for U.S. citizenship applications, with fees projected to jump from $725 to about $1,200 on this side of the Hudson River, according to Mayor Steven Fulop.

A photo of a Weehawken naturalization ceremony from May 25th, 2019.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Last week, we filed an amicus brief to join NYC in supporting an injunction of the new federal rules that would dramatically increase immigration fees,” Fulop said in an email blast this morning.

” … When we looked at our data, more than half of Jersey City’s recent applicants wouldn’t be able to become citizens if the fee hikes go into effect. The current fee is $725, with a reduced or waived fee option for families with very low income. The new fees would be about $1200 for each application, and the low income accommodations would be eliminated.”

The mayor continued that in Jersey City, 41 percent of residents are born in foreign countries and therefore naturalization rates are typically above average.

“If citizenship becomes less affordable, Jersey City loses. If it’s more attainable, we’re better off,” he concluded.

On September 2nd, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a policy alert that indicated they had published a new fee schedule, along with changes to other immigrant benefit requests on August 3rd, and that the new fees would go into effect on October 2nd.

In response, a coalition of 19 state attorney generals, including New York AG Letitia James, announced that would be challenging this federal regulation, which would also increase the cost for immigrants applying for asylum.