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The Department of Homeland Security's seal. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Friday plans to hike fees for multiple immigration and work visa applications, including a more than 80% increase on naturalization applications and a new fee for asylum applicants.

Why it matters: The adjusted costs, which take effect Oct. 2, may deter low-income immigrants from pursuing citizenship and could prevent those seeking refuge in the U.S. from applying for asylum. The shifts come as USCIS is facing COVID-19-related budget shortfalls.

Details: With the new $50 fee for asylum applications, the U.S. will become the fourth country in the world to charge a fee for humanitarian protections. Only Iran, Fiji and Australia have such applications fees, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • The agency will increase the cost of naturalization applications from $640 to $1,170, though it will give a $10 discount to applicants who submit forms online, according to the Department of Homeland Security's final ruling on the fee increases.
  • USCIS, which oversees the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, removed a proposed $275 renewal fee for DACA recipients.

What they're saying: “USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures and make adjustments based on that analysis,” said Joseph Edlow, USCIS deputy director for policy.

  • The Department of Homeland Security said in its final ruling that "it does not intend to discourage naturalization and is not motivated by any consideration other than achieving full cost recovery while emphasizing the beneficiary-pays principle in establishing these fees."

The big picture: Unlike most government agencies, USCIS is fee-funded. Money collected and deposited into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account fund makes up nearly 97% of USCIS’ budget.

Go deeper

New state unemployment filings fall to 787,000

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children are among a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, per a statement from Christian Aid Ministries Sunday.

The latest: "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children," the Ohio-based group said. Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne on Sunday identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.