A federal judge this week temporarily blocked several substantial court fee increases for asylum seekers and other immigrants fighting deportation.
The changes, first proposed by the Trump administration last year, were set to go into effect Tuesday, the day before President-elect Joe Biden took office. They would have increased the cost of various immigration court filing fees by hundreds of dollars.
Appealing an immigration judge’s decision, for example, would have risen from $110 to $975 — the biggest of the planned increases under the new rule by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, which runs immigration courts.
But U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta, in Washington, D.C., halted that and most other new fees from being implemented in a preliminary injunction. Mehta said the changes likely violated a federal rule-making law and would cause plaintiffs irreparable harm.
“The court holds that EOIR acted arbitrarily and capriciously by disregarding the Final Rule’s impact on legal service providers and their capacity to provide legal services to persons subject to removal proceedings,” Mehta wrote in his ruling on Monday.