APG has submitted comments to the public record opposing the proposed fee hike for access to historical records held by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Genealogy Program, due to the negative impact it will have on members’ small businesses. The full text of APG’s response can be viewed at https://silkstart.s3.amazonaws.com/e8795957-08b5-4319-871e-df7c35d704a4.pdf.
The deadline for comments is Monday 13 March 2023. We urge our members and others in the genealogy community to submit their comments about the impact of the proposed rule on their businesses at https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/USCIS-2021-0010-0001. Comments are welcome from non-U.S. residents.
“APG members utilize USCIS records because these unique primary source documents and testimonies cannot be located in other resources. These records are invaluable, and they help our members do valuable work,” said APG President Annette Burke Lyttle in the comments.
“These fee increases stand to severely cripple genealogists’ ability to execute research…and would impose a severe financial burden on their livelihoods.” Lyttle continued, “APG’s members, including many who are sole proprietors and small business owners, would suffer greatly.”
APG’s comments strongly urge USCIS to: (1) publicly present a plan to fix the program; (2) outline how they intend to work with the National Archives and Records Administration to implement the overdue transfer of records; and (3) permanently shelve the proposed fee schedule increase.