Chicago – Today, Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez praised a new proposed rule to be published tomorrow in the Federal Register that announces new guidelines for fee waivers for naturalization applications. Under the proposed rule, applicants whose income is between 150% and 200% of the federal poverty level can apply for a fee waiver that reduces the fee in half. This proposed rule will make a reduced price accessible to many more applicants. The current full fee (including biometrics) is $680, an expense that prevents some eligible applicants from applying and going through the English, civics and biometric/background examinations required for citizenship. A 6.6% increase in the fee for naturalization applications is also included in the proposed rule, a $45 increase, but that compares favorably to an overall 21% fee increase across all services and applications in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) proposed fee structure.
Chicago – Today, Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez participated in a citizenship event hosted by the Mexican consulate in Chicago and by local organizations participating in the New American Democracy Campaign (http://bit.ly/NADCHomeENG | http://bit.ly/NADCHomeESP). The Congressman spoke to volunteers and prospective citizens who gathered for a half-day workshop on Saturday morning.
Washington, DC – Today, in a letter to President Obama, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) called for Temporary Protected Status for Ecuadorians living in the United States as Ecuador recovers from a devastating April 16 earthquake. Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is extended to nations facing severe crisis from natural disasters and conflict and is designated by the President without the need for approval from Congress. In his letter to the President, Rep. Gutiérrez cited the many Chicagoans and other Americans he has met in recent days who are concerned for loved ones in Ecuador and who have asked him to lead the effort to secure TPS for Ecuadorians. TPS, if granted, would protect certain Ecuadorian nationals in the United States from deportation and allow for their continued support for the country through remittances.