May 6, 2016
By Manuel Pastor and Jared Sanchez
Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a proposed rule adjustment to their fee schedule, which includes a fee reduction of $320 for naturalization applicants with family incomes between 150 and 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
CSII calculated that approximately 1 million of the 8.8 million people who are eligible for citizenship will be eligible for the partial fee waiver.
This brief examines the impact of the partial fee waiver by offering estimates including: the number of the eligible-to-naturalize populations by poverty band (for all 50 states), the number by countries of origin and poverty status, and more.
Also included are maps displaying CSII’s estimates of the partial fee waiver eligible adult, which can serve as tools to assist ongoing naturalization efforts being conducted on-the-ground. We focus on four areas in the U.S. with the largest populations of partial waiver eligible adults: Southern California, California Central Valley, New York City region, and South-Central-East Texas.
Naturalization brings economic and civic benefits to both immigrant and the native-born alike. With the new partial fee waivers, 12 percent of the nation’s eligible-to-naturalize adults are better able to break through the cost barrier and we as a nation are better-positioned to realize those potential gains.
Read our other publications by research area
Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice
Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.
Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity
In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.
Social Movements & Governing Power
ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.
In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).
The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.