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What Would It Cost to Really Check an Amnesty Application?

April 1, 2013
By David North

In this Backgrounder, CIS fellow David North finds that if the United States were to have yet another amnesty program for illegal aliens, what should the fee be for really checking each application?

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In this Backgrounder, CIS fellow David North finds that if the United States were to have yet another amnesty program for illegal aliens, what should the fee be for really checking each application? Currently United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charges $465 to process the applications for Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the administration's on-going amnesty for some under-31 illegal aliens. The scrutiny in this program is so skimpy that while, as of March 14, 2013, more than 450,000 applications had been filed (and more than 245,000 had been approved), USCIS had yet to announce the denial of a single one of them.

Since all applications should be examined with care, and bearing in mind some illegals have more complex cases than others, there is a need for a sliding scale of fees for any future amnesty to reflect the real costs of checking each application carefully.

These are rough estimates of the costs for each applying illegal alien:

  • $917 each for the processing of the simplest, cleanest applications;

  • A sliding scale for more difficult ones, up to a total of $2,612 at the extreme; 

  • Varying medical examination fees will also be charged, something like $200;

  • The estimated average administrative cost would be about $2,000 per amnesty applicant. Multiplying that by 10 million applicants would yield a total administrative cost of $20 billion;

  • This total cost would not include unpaid back taxes or any fine that might be levied.
Article Tags
Immigration