U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, D-California, are requesting temporary fee waivers for residents who must replace their immigration and naturalization documents that were lost, damaged or destroyed in the state's wildfires last month.
The two Democrats made the request in a letter Thursday to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Harris and Feinstein said 100,000 residents were displaced in the fires that burned 245,000 acres, destroyed 8,900 homes and structures and displaced 100,000 residents in nine counties.
Under current policy, a person can file an individual application for an income-based fee waiver to replace the immigration and citizenship documents. The process requires a resident to submit a lengthy form and extensive supporting documentation to demonstrate their inability to pay the expensive replacement fees, the senators said in their letter.
The fee to replace a green card is $450 and the fee to replace an employment authorization document is $495.
"We do not believe this is a sufficient solution for Californians devastated by this natural disaster. Many of those affected are facing financial stress and may not be eligible for the individual waiver. Those who are eligible may face challenges to supply necessary supporting documentation," the senators said in the letter.