The Corner

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User Fees on Steroids


It will soon cost nearly $600 to apply for naturalization, and the complaints by the usual post-American whiners are actually justified in this instance. While recouping the direct cost of processing immigration applications is fine, the agency responsible, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is entirely funded by fees, even to fund infrastructure investments, meaning that it can never get ahead of demands on its computer systems. This isn’t just bureaucratic inside baseball — it’s a symptom of Congress trying, and inevitably failing, to do mass immigration on the cheap — another manifestation of today’s anti-immigrant policy of mass immigration, rather than the pro-immigrant policy of low immigration that we actually need.