USCIS Proposed Regulation on Fee Increases

Jan Meisels Allen

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We want the records but at a reasonable price....this is something every individual needs to write in about -don't leave it to someone else. We need thousands of people to respond. Not only Americans use these records. If you live outside the US but have had an ancestor or other relative come through the US from 1906 on you want these records too! Just explain that in the letter YOU write.

There are many groups fighting the outrageous proposed fee increases for the USCIS genealogy program. IAJGS and RPAC (Records Preservation and Access Committee) of which IAJGS is a sponsoring member, are writing strongly worded but polite letters. Please, when you refer to the proposed increase in fees include for the genealogy program as they are also increasing the rates for the immigration forms etc, but a much lower amount of increase- the rates are already substantially higher than the genealogy forms.

In addition to societies, what is needed are INDIVIDUALS to write in -- as many as possible, Your letters should focus not only on the fee increases, but the transfer of the files to NARA which requires the digitization and then the indexing before NARA can accept them. Form letters are not acceptable as they are ignored--write something individually and remember these will be published in the Federal Register so be warry of your language! 

Deadline for receipt of the comments is March 6, 2023. The electronic Federal Docket Management System will accept comments before midnight eastern time at the end of that day. You have some time (deadline is 24 days) but don't let it be pushed aside so that you will forget about writing. Do it now while you are thinking about it.
You may submit comments on the entirety of this proposed rule package, identified by DHS Docket No. USCIS-2021-0010, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: You must include the following on your comments: DHS Docket No. USCIS-2021-0010.
Follow the website instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted in a manner other than the one listed above, including emails or letters sent to DHS or USCIS officials, will not be considered comments on the proposed rule and may not receive a response from DHS.

As included in the Records Not Revenues website, include a copy of your letter to your elected US Senators and Representatives. See their website, which in their step 3 shows how you can find your elected representatives. In addition, the IAJGS website has a list of elected representatives by state at:  or go directly to -for the Senate and for the House.

If you do not know who represents you--To find your Representative or Senator go to: and put in your address in the box at the lower center part where it asks find your member by address.

If you need more information on this please attend JewishGen's  program with Rich Venezia and Reneé Carl 
Topic: Save Access to 20th Century Immigration Records - You Can Help
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Registration: Free 

Phil Goldfarb- the lead moderator sent out a message on the JewishGen Discussion Group earlier this week about how to use this so you can enter "guest" and skip the part about registering for the Museum.

Remember the only way we are going to win on this is a LARGE response from individuals. Have letters sent from your societies also but individuals are critical to write.

Thank you!

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Company