They say that America is the land of opportunity, and therefore, so many people desire to Immigrate to this country.
Amid the news of an upcoming General Motors bankruptcy, the recession is not showing any signs of retreat. During these tough economic times, many institutions are trying to do their share to ease up the pain. US Citizenship and Immigration Services is not one of them. For USCIS this is business as usual.
When one applies for a US visa, whether it is for a Temporary work visa or for Permanent Residency, there is a fee charged for the processing of the application. These fees paid to the government range between $300 and $1365, depending on the type of application. While this is expensive, it is acceptable so long as it represents the actual costs of the service provided. Yet, there is a growing school of thought that USCIS currently charging fees way out of line with the actual costs.
The government should not be profiting from the fees it charges for its services. Permanent Resident and Temporary Visa applicants should not be used as cash machines for the American government. The government will already benefit from their tax dollars as they contribute to the economy. It is not right to ask immigrants to carry more than their share of the burden of paying for the general operation of government. Especially in this economic crisis.
When the government earns profits from application fees, this amounts to a form of extra taxation. Yet while other taxes in America have to be approved by Congress, visa application fees do not, making them a form of taxation without representation, and this goes against the basic principles of our democracy.
Asking individuals to cover the cost of their visa applications is fair. Using these applications to earn profits and not make any concessions in this recession is not. Immigrants are important contributors to the success of the American economy. They should be treated with respect, and not taken advantage of. We are all in this boat together.
My 2 cents.