Washington, DC, September 30, 2020 – Jesse Bless, Director of Federal Litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), issued the following statement on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California’s decision yesterday to block the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from increasing application fees for immigration benefits, including citizenship and asylum. The DHS’s Fee Rule, which would have doubled or tripled application fees for many essential immigration benefits, was set to go into effect on October 2, 2020.
“AILA applauds the Court’s expeditious order to set aside USCIS’ unprecedented attempt to dramatically raise fees prior to November’s Presidential Election. Not only did Judge White carefully identify that DHS leadership did not have the authority to issue the rule, Judge White recognized that the government pushed to increase fees arbitrarily without considering important concerns identified by plaintiffs and thousands of commenters in opposition to the rule, including the negative impact the rule would have on low-income immigrant populations and those seeking asylum. AILA is proud to join our litigation partners at Sidley Austin LLP in this important fight, standing with immigrants, their families, and the communities across America they call home. This is an important win for deserving immigrants and a strong rebuke to this administration’s anti-immigration efforts.”
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit included the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) and other leading immigrants’ rights organizations. More information on the lawsuit can be found here.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.