Immigrants aren’t seeking U.S. citizenship as often these days—not since the American dream became more expensive.
Following a 69 percent increase last summer in citizenship fees, about 281,000 immigrants have applied to become U.S. citizens in the first half of 2008—less than half the number of applicants in the same period last year, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The decline follows a rush of applications when immigrants hurried to get their paperwork filed before fees shot up at the end of July 2007. In that month alone, more than 460,000 immigrants applied for citizenship.
They paid $400. The new fee is $675—a price some people believe is a barrier to citizenship.