Will Fees Go Up?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas this week about the challenges facing his agency. Here's part of it:
Q. USCIS experienced a budget shortfall of about $170 million in 2009. Do you have a shortfall this year and why?
A. We indeed are experiencing a budget shortfall. We are primarily a fee-for-services agency. Fees are paid in support of applications, or petitions, for immigration benefits. Last year we experienced a marked decline in the fees that we received. We had far less applications.
Q. How do you intend to deal with the budget shortfall? Will the agency raise fees again as it did in 2007?
A. We have considered and are considering all of the options available to us. One is to seek a greater appropriation from Congress. That is in the works. Second is to look inward to determine what cuts we can and should make. The third alternative, and the alternative of last resort, is to reconsider and evaluate the fees, as we must do every two years.