Entrance Fees: Self-Funded Agencies in the Immigration Context

Daimeon Shanks

Event Date


This paper examines the financing structure of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an executive branch administrative agency that is almost entirely funded by applicants and petitioners for immigration benefits. The paper interrogates the fundamental economic justifications for the use of a user-fee funded agency in the immigration context and argues that not only is the USCIS’s funding structure ineffective in implementing Congress’ immigration policies, it has the active effect of deterring immigration altogether.

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