Immigration advocacy and legal and social service organizations came together to file amicus curiae briefs in two federal lawsuits challenging provisions in USCIS’s new fee schedule —including, for the first time in U.S. history, a fee to apply for asylum; substantial increases in other filing fees; and restrictions on the availability of fee waivers. The changes will negatively impact applicants for asylum, T and U visas, and special immigrant juvenile status, among others. In the briefs, the amici, represented by Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, pointed to the government’s failure to consider the particular hardships involved in paying these fees for applicants for humanitarian protection, particularly before they can obtain work authorization. Both briefs supported plaintiffs’ efforts to obtain preliminary relief to stop the new fees from going into effect in October.
The amici curiae are ASISTA Immigration Assistance, AsylumWorks, the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (“CGRS”), the Center for Victims of Torture, Immigration Equality, Kids In Need of Defense (“KIND”), the National Immigrant Justice Center (“NIJC”), Public Counsel, Tahirih Justice Center, and World Relief.