On 14 November 2019, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a sudden and unprecedented 492% increase in fees required to access historical records held by the USCIS Genealogy Program. Many of these records should already be publicly accessible under the law.
These proposed fees — starting at $240, and going up to a whopping $625 for a single file — are beyond the means of most hobbyist researchers, and in fact, most everyday Americans. The fees are even more inexplicable given that USCIS refers the majority of genealogy record requests to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program for processing.