10/03/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/03/2023 15:16
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With the increase of migrants in New York and cities across the country, Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) is leading the effort to waive restrictive work authorization application fees to reduce barriers and waiting times that migrants face to legally obtain work permits. Currently, the filing fee for the I-765 employment authorization application is $410. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is leading this effort in the Senate. Additionally, Representatives Bowman (D-NY-16), Meng (D-NY-6), Tonko (D-NY-20), Torres (D-NY-15), Velázquez (D-NY-7), Goldman (D-NY-10), and Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) joined Espaillat and Gillibrand in calling on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to waive the filing fee.
"We are a nation of immigrants and must ensure that families who travel to the United States to find work are actually allowed to do so to support themselves and bolster our nation's economy," said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). "We have made tremendous progress in providing work authorizations to hundreds of thousands of deserving migrants who are currently in the U.S. by redesignating Venezuelans for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). But our efforts will not end here. We, in Congress, are continuing our efforts and collaboration with the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure that as many migrant families as possible receive expedited work permits so they may contribute to our communities, the economy, and achieve the American dream."
"Many parolees have fled their countries of origin for urgent humanitarian reasons - fleeing oppression, violence, poverty, or persecution. As these individuals are unable to work legally or safely without a valid work authorization, the filing fee is simply unattainable for many, leaving them in limbo under the City's care," wrote the lawmakers. "Reducing barriers to applying for employment authorizations will allow parolees to achieve self-sufficiency and reduce the strain on the city's resources."
For the full letterplease click here or see below.
Dear Director Jaddou:
We write to request that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) waive the filing fee for the Application for Employment Authorization (I-765) for parolees in order to expedite the work authorization process and provide these individuals the ability to legally and safely work. We appreciate the Administration's attention to this urgent humanitarian issue.
Since the spring of 2022, approximately 110,000 migrants have arrived in New York City. Today, about 60,000 of them remain under the City's care. While we anticipate many of these migrants will apply for asylum, those with parolee status are already eligible to apply for a work permit, which would give them legal work authorization ((c)11 category) for the duration of their parole. However, the I-765 filing fee poses a significant barrier to many potential parolee applicants.
Currently, the filing fee for I-765 application is $410. Many parolees have fled their countries of origin for urgent humanitarian reasons - fleeing oppression, violence, poverty, or persecution. As these individuals are unable to work legally or safely without a valid work authorization, the filing fee is simply unattainable for many, leaving them in limbo under the City's care. Reducing barriers to applying for employment authorizations will allow parolees to achieve self-sufficiency and reduce the strain on the city's resources.
We therefore respectfully request that USCIS waive the $410 filing fee for all I-765's filed by parolees in order to provide parolees access to work permits without any financial burden. Lastly, as you consider our request to waive the fees of all I-765 forms for parolees, we further ask USCIS to consider making I-912 fee waiver forms available to submit online, to reduce the burden of having to mail these forms to USCIS. The United States has a responsibility to provide an orderly and legal pathway to work for those who are seeking safety and protection from the circumstances they fled from in the countries of origin. Comprehensive immigration reform is long past due. However, we can make these critical changes now that can provide immediate relief to this vulnerable population.
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