Posted: Feb 2, 2014 10:57 AM
Updated: Feb 2, 2014 10:57 AM
EDINBURG, Texas (AP) As President Barack Obama renews his quest for immigration reform, some immigrants are concerned about proposals that would impose new fines on top of citizenship-application fees.
Immigrants and their advocates say the extra financial hurdles could push citizenship out of reach for many families.
The current cost to apply for citizenship is $680. A Senate bill would add fines of $2,000.
Supporters of the fines say they are necessary to demonstrate that any reform package is not an amnesty for people who entered the U.S. illegally.
A 2012 survey by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that only 46 percent of Hispanic immigrants eligible to become citizens had done so. The top two reasons were lack of English skills and lack of money.