Well...remember that I171-H celebration a while back? Its true...we have approval, but the approval is for Ethiopia, which means we have to file a I-824 to get it changed to Ghana. Our original application stated that we were interested in adopting from Ethiopia, but after we applied we switched to Ghana. Our homestudy very clearly states that we intend to adopt from Ghana, but apparently it wasn't caught by the Dept. of Homeland Security folks. So now, we send in another form, with a $200 filing fee. Yuck! I'm just glad at this point that we are filing now, instead of after July 30th, when the fee is raised to $340. That's a lot of money for a problem that will require just a few key strokes on the computer to fix. The original I-600a filing fee was $545, plus $140 for fingerprinting....Now the total will be $885 (after adding the additional $200 for this form - and that is all before the fee increases).
It got me thinking, though....How can anyone afford to be an immigrant to the United States? All of the immigration form filing fees are going up dramatically at the end of July (as if they weren't expensive enough to begin with). The days of "Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses..." are clearly over. Those were the days when my great-great-grandparents and great-grandparents came into this land of promise. I guess its apparent that we already have all the hard-working, strong, "I want a better life for my family" people that we need in this country. Now only the independently wealthy can afford to come here. Take these fees and factor in the incredible wait times required for anyone to get a visa to enter the United States legally and it is easy to understand why there is such a problem with illegal immigration. I wonder how many of my ancestors would have made it into the U.S. with current immigration laws?