Mar 15 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and seven of his colleagues sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting that the Department withdraw a proposal that would raise fees for farmers and small businesses who sponsor foreign national workers. The proposal would also add a $600 fee to pay for President Biden’s broken asylum program.

“Specifically, we are concerned about the impact that these proposed fee increases will have on the agriculture industry throughout the country. The proposed rule would increase the fees for H-2A petitions, which encompass seasonal agricultural workers, from $460 to $1,090 for named workers and from $460 to $530 for unnamed workers […] More troubling, however, is the new Asylum Program Fee. This proposed rule would charge employers seeking to sponsor immigrants for certain work visas an unprecedented $600 fee to fund our broken asylum program. To justify this proposal, DHS contends that this cost shifting approach with the Asylum Program Fee will ‘place greater emphasis on the ability-to-pay principle for determining user fees.’ In other words, DHS believes small business owners should be forced to finance President Biden’s overwhelmed and broken asylum program that is entirely unrelated to the issuance of immigrant work visas,” the senators wrote. 

“We are deeply disappointed that the Biden Administration continues to reward illegal entry into this country, especially at the expense of hardworking entrepreneurs and farmers who are operating within the legal parameters of the immigration system. It is time for President Biden to take the crisis at our southern border seriously and support our small businesses and farmers. For all of these reasons, we urge you to withdraw this deeply flawed proposed rule,” the senators concluded.

Read the full letter to Secretary Mayorkas here.