Trump Admin Plans Massive Percent Fee Increase for Genealogy Immigration Records
CUTTING THE FAMILY TREE
The Trump administration is planning a dramatic hike in fees to access U.S. immigration records from the first half of the 20th century and earlier, The Washington Post reports. The fees would nearly triple under the reported plans and, in some cases, they would rise nearly fivefold, from $130 to $625 to obtain a single paper file. The proposals have angered professional and amateur genealogists, who say the hike would put valuable immigration information out of reach. The fee increase “has to be very important to anyone who does hobbyist genealogy. It would make it impossible for most average people to access” the files, Rich Venezia, a Pittsburgh-based professional genealogist, told the newspaper. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials said they will be forced to increase the fees to avoid a $1.26 billion annual budget shortfall. The window for public comment on the proposal closes Dec. 16.