Feb 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump wants to charge immigrants $1,000 to legally fight deportation

Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Justice Department wants to dramatically increase fees for immigrants trying to fight deportation— including nearly $1,000 to appeal an immigration judge decision, according to a proposed Executive Office for Immigration Review rule.

Between the lines: It currently costs around $100 for immigrants to begin to legally fight deportation orders. If implemented, the new rule would raise fees to at least $305 and as much as $975, depending on the appeal.

By the numbers: In the rule, the administration argues that the discrepancy between fees collected and the processing costs “has become more of a burden on the immigration adjudication system as aliens overall have begun filing more of these fee-based forms and motions.”

  • They estimate that immigrants appealing deportation orders given by an immigration judge cost taxpayers $27.6 million in FY 2018. The rule proposes that fees be raised so that immigrants cover the total cost, which is how the $975 fee came about.

What they’re saying: When hearings are set two or three years in advance, immigrants have time to save for the fees. But with many new immigration judges and a rise in fast-track cases, that may no longer possible, immigration lawyer Jeffrey Chase, a former judge and senior legal advisor at the Board of Immigration Appeals, told Axios

  • Former immigration judge Paul Schmidt, who retired in 2016, told Axios in an email the proposed rule is “outrageous.”
  • He said correcting errors through the appeals process is one of the most important government functions. “That’s particularly true when the public segment ‘served’ is generally limited income individuals and getting results correct could be ‘life determining.’”

Go deeper

Trump policies could scare immigrants away from coronavirus care

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democrats and public health experts are concerned that the Trump administration's immigration policies could scare immigrants away from getting medical help as the coronavirus spreads.

What we're watching: Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told senators on Thursday that health care facilities are already "sensitive locations" where immigration enforcement isn't carried out, except in "exigent circumstances."

Go deeperArrowMar 6, 2020 - Health

Public charge rule could add to visa denial surge

Data: U.S. Department of State, National Foundation for American Policy; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Even before President Trump's new public charge rule took effect, his State Department was denying visas on related grounds 19 times more than at the end of the Obama administration, a new analysis finds.

Why it matters: Trump's new policies could supercharge efforts to keep out immigrants whom the government predicts might one day use certain tax-funded social safety nets.

Supreme Court allows Trump's full "Remain in Mexico" program to continue

President Trump at a rally in Phoenix in February. Photo: Caitlin O'Hara/Getty Images

The Supreme Court gave the Trump administration another immigration win on Wednesday, blocking a federal injunction that would have halted the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — or "Remain in Mexico" policy — in California and Arizona.

Why it matters: The Trump administration sent military troops to parts of the border ahead of the decision in order to prepare for any surges of migrants crossing the border if MPP was halted, per the New York Times.