Immigrants who hope to challenge deportation orders could be charged nearly $1,000 to go to court under a proposed new regulation unveiled Thursday. That would be a nearly tenfold increase that could make deportation appeals much more difficult to pursue, the New York Times reports. The new fee schedule is the latest move by the Trump administration to speed deportations and discourage the arrival of immigrants. Under the same proposal, the administration wants to require asylum seekers to pay $50 to have their cases heard in court; historically, the process has been available to people fleeing persecution regardless of their ability to pay.
The Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review said asking immigrants to pay a greater share of costs would help ensure “that U.S. taxpayers do not bear a disproportionate burden in funding the immigration system.” The fees were last increased in 1986. Lawyers representing immigrants said the proposed fees could violate the nation’s obligation to provide immigrants fleeing dangerous conditions with a full and fair hearing. Calling the proposed regulation “absolutely outrageous,” Trina Realmuto of the American Immigration Council said it “will have draconian consequences on the ability of noncitizens in removal proceedings to be able to navigate and access the system that Congress put in place for the proceedings.”