SAA Comments on Proposed Hike in USCIS Records Access Fees

SAA “was dismayed to learn of the proposed changes in fees for accessing the public records of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),” per comments submitted to the chief of the Regulatory Coordination Division of the USCIS on December 30, 2019. The comment continued:

“As outlined in the agency’s proposed rulemaking under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Docket No. USCIS-2019-0010, USCIS proposes significant increases in two fees: The fee for the agency to search the Master Index of the Genealogy Program would increase from $65 to $240 (269%) and the fee to request a record would increase from $65 to $385 (492%). The current fees already were significantly increased from their 2016 levels of $20 and $35, respectively.

“Based on our significant concerns about diminished access to these records, SAA opposes the increases and proposes that USCIS instead transfer these public records to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Through NARA these records can be managed more efficiently, accessed more freely, and reproduced more economically, as preserving and providing access to historical records of the federal government is one of NARA’s core missions and areas of expertise.”

Read the full letter here.  Read all comments here.