The Trump administration is attempting to significantly increase the fee immigrants have to pay to appeal their deportation cases from just $100 to almost $1,000 according to a draft Department of Justice regulation.
Immigrants currently have to pay $110 to both request as well as appeal an immigration judge’s decision or to request that the Board of Immigration Appeals reconsider their case. But the administration wants to increase that more than 700% to $975 and $895, to deal with court costs facing the system. The draft also notes that the application fees have not been raised since 1986.
While the regulation is still pending – it would require a 60-day comment period prior to going into effect. But the higher fees could exclude immigrants prior to appealing their cases, especially since foreign-born workers tend to have lower incomes than those 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.
Back in August, the administration promoted six immigration judges — each who deny asylum applications at much bigger rates than their colleagues to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Of those judges, one reportedly threatened to unleash a “very big dog” on a 2-year-old Guatemalan boy during a hearing.