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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

Exclusive: GOP Leader McCarthy asks to meet with Biden about the border

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) at CPAC. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss the rising numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a letter sent on Friday.

Why it matters: Biden is facing criticism from the right and the left as agency actions and media reports reveal spiking numbers of migrant children overwhelming parts of the U.S. immigration system. Recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day, as Axios reported.

Vaccine hesitancy drops, but with partisan divide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

69% of the public intends to get a COVID vaccine or already has, up significantly from 60% in November, according to a report out Friday from the Pew Research Center.

Yes, but: The issue has become even more partisan, with 56% of Republicans who say they want or have already received a coronavirus vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

China's 5-year plan is hazy on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's highly anticipated 5-year plan revealed on Friday provides little new information about its climate initiatives, leaving plenty to discuss in multinational meetings this year and lots of blanks for China to fill in later.

Driving the news: The top-line targets for 2025, per state media, aim to lower energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon emissions intensity by 18% — that is, measures of energy use and emissions relative to economic output.