Price of legal immigration may be on the rise

Jacqueline Gutierrez, Reporter

The Trump administration is planning on raising the cost of staying in the United States for undocumented immigrants, according to NBC news.

If this were to pass, the citizen application fee would increase from $640 to $1,170 and the permanent residency will increase 79 percent, according to NBC News.

Green cards grant legal immigrants to stay in the U.S. as permanent residents for 10 years and once it is nearing six months before the expiration it is suggested to renew it, according to the Citizen Path website.

“I think it’s going to affect a lot of people, because most people who are applying for citizenship are low income and basically are working in the fields,” said E.Q, a student at Bakersfield College who legally became a citizen and wishes to remain anonymous.

E.Q legally came into the U.S. when he was 12 years old, but he never earned legal status, and lived his life in the states up until the age of 18 when he went back to Mexico, later he came back to the U.S. and became a U.S. citizen.

“When we [him and his family] got here I went to school, I got really good grades, I had a 4.3 GPA, and I was accepted to UC Berkeley. I was never here breaking the law so I didn’t have to ask for a pardon [before he reentered the country again],” E.Q said.

E.Q. stated that his mother is currently a permanent resident in the U.S. and it surprised him when he found out that the permanent resident fee could also go up from $1,220 to $2,195, costs according to NBC.

“It’s actually very difficult to come up with the fees and if someone is helping you, you have to pay them as well. The fees are high and they’re nonrefundable. She [his mother] works in the fields and two of my sisters live with her so I know that’s going to be hard, but I end up helping her [when she needs to renew her residency],” E.Q. said.

“DACA renewals would increase for $495 to $765, possibly giving Trump officials a tool to limit the program in case the Supreme court allows the program to continue despite the administration’s efforts to end it” according to NBC News.

As of June 2012, adults and teenagers under the age of 31 have lived and been educated in the U.S., as long as they do not pose a threat to the states, with the DACA program but they need to renew their DACA application every two years, according to the Immigrant Equality website.

Because of DACA, the cost of permanent residency would not affect its recipients until they turn 31.

The costs of these programs increasing is not official but the desire from the Trump administration still exists.