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The Trump administration is trying to significantly increase the fee immigrants have to pay to appeal their deportation cases — from just over $100 to nearly $1,000, according to a draft Department of Justice regulation obtained by BuzzFeed News.
Currently, immigrants have to pay $110 to request and appeal of an immigration judge’s decision or to request that the Board of Immigration Appeals reconsider their case. But the administration wants to up that more than 700%, to $975 and $895, respectively, to deal with court costs facing the system, according to BuzzFeed. The draft also notes that application fees haven’t been raised since 1986.
The regulation is still pending and would require a 60-day comment period before going into effect. But the higher fees could preclude immigrants from appealing their cases, particularly since foreign-born workers tend to have lower median incomes than people born in the U.S.
The proposed fee hike is one of many measures the Trump administration has taken to overhaul the immigration court system — and to make it harder for immigrants to win their cases. The DOJ imposed quotas for immigration judges in 2018, a policy the National Association of Immigration Judges warned would force judges to speed up cases at the expense of judges’ due process rights.
And in August, the administration promoted six immigration judges — all of whom deny asylum applications at much higher rates than their colleagues — to the Board of Immigration Appeals. One of those judges once reportedly threatened to unleash a “very big dog” on a 2-year-old Guatemalan boy during a hearing.
Cover image: A bunch of 100 Dollar notes, overlapping and stacked on top of each other, in February 2018. | usage worldwide Photo by: Frank Duenzl/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images