House Democrats have hit out at a Trump administration proposal to introduce a 10 percent surcharge for immigration petition filing fees to aid in deficit reduction, condemning the bid as a “cruel” plan that will hurt “hard-working, law-abiding immigrants.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, members of the Congressional New Americans Caucus, which is made up of first-generation immigrants, including Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), and Albio Sires (D-NJ) vowed to fight the proposal.

“As first-generation immigrants ourselves, we are appalled at the Administration’s proposal to increase immigration fees. The Administration has provided no justification for raising the fees on hard-working, law-abiding immigrants,” the group of representatives said.

“While President Trump repeatedly claims that he is focused on illegal immigration, this unwarranted and cruel policy makes it clear that his real target is immigration itself, even when done through the proper channels,” the lawmakers said. “If the Administration seriously intends to pursue this policy, we will do everything within our power to block it.”

The proposal to introduce the 10 percent surcharge came as part of Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal, with a 2020 budget fact sheet from the White House asserting that the surcharge would be used for deficit reduction.

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