Re: Help Stop USCIS Genealogy Program Fee Hikes

Marion Werle <werleme@...>


Genealogy is not free - acquisition, translation and compilation of record sets incurs costs. Writing directly to an Archives incurs costs. Ordering records from an agency incurs costs. JewishGen doesn't charge for services, and is staffed mainly with volunteers, but incurs costs for permanent staff and server infrastructure (housed at Ancestry),  among other things. FamilySearch is supported by the LDS Church. Ancestry and MyHeritage are subscription websites, but can be accessed for free in many libraries. Not every resource that a genealogist needs is free or supported by a foundation. Professional genealogists charge for their time because it's how they make their living and they incur costs as well. 

Not all LitvakSIG research groups are actively translating records at this point, since known records may already have been translated and are publically available for free. When you access these records, you are reaping the benefits of previous contributors. And 18 months goes by quickly, even if you aren't a subscriber. 

As for USCIS, the proposed fee increases far exceed what is reasonable for a government agency.

Marion Werle
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