Clock Ticks Toward Citizenship Fee Hike

May 24, 2007

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A gathering on Chicago's West Side sounds an alarm about proposed fee increases for a range of immigration services.

From our Humboldt Park bureau, Chicago Public Radio's Chip Mitchell reports.

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The fee hikes will take effect apart from the sweeping immigration reform that Congress is debating.

The price of a citizenship application will more than double to $675.

At a Mexican restaurant in Humboldt Park, immigrant advocates today urged legal permanent residents to beat the increase by applying for naturalization now.

In multiple languages, they promoted free citizenship classes through the state of Illinois.

TAPE: Warnings in Korean, Polish, Chinese, Urdu and Spanish.

A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman says his agency is within weeks of finalizing the fee hikes.

He says they'll take effect 60 days from that point, and that only Congress could stop the increases.

In Humboldt Park, I'm Chip Mitchell, Chicago Public Radio.