Immigrants and their advocates have a lot to celebrate today. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California temporarily blocked the implementation of the USCIS’s fee increase rule on September 29, 2020, just days before the fees for most immigration applications would increase significantly. On November 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a new rule which would significantly increase USCIS fees on October 2, 2020. Most notably, the USCIS fee increase rule would have nearly doubled the filing fee for a green card or naturalization application for U.S. citizenship. The court blocked the USCIS fee increase rule because it reasoned that Kevin McAleenan, the Former Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security, and Chad Wolf, the current Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security, likely did not have the authority to promulgate the rule because they were not lawfully serving in their positions. The court also reasoned that the rule would cause irreparable harm and it is in the public interest to temporarily block it. The preliminary injunction is effective immediately and shall remain in effect pending trial in the case.
Although we celebrate this victory with our clients, it is important to remember that the court’s decision to block the USCIS fee increase rule is only temporary and can be overturned by another court at any time and without any notice. Therefore, individuals eligible for immigration benefits, such as those eligible for an adjustment of status (green card), or U.S. citizenship through naturalization, should consider applying as soon as they are eligible.
At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, we know the immigration process is complicated and intimidating, and such changes only make things more challenging and stressful. We invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys to discuss your case.