What if this annoying practice had been in place in 1920 when my grandparents arrived at Ellis Island from their native Denmark? They might have been greeted with fees like these:
- Appraisal fee. To determine whether the prospective immigrant is worthy. If the answer is yes, move on to other fees. If not, assess a Return Processing Fee and return to country of origin.
- Intake processing fee. To cover administrative costs.
- Baggage fee, if applicable.
- Documentation fee. Covers cost of storing personal records at port of entry.
- National entry fee. Welcome!
- Trans-New York fee. Allows passage through New York State.
- Freedom access fee. Allows immigrant to practice same freedoms as U.S. citizens.
- Cultural assimilation fee. Allows immigrant to adopt any legally and morally acceptable cultural traits practiced in the United States.
- National, state and local facility fees. For upkeep.
- User fee. To cover “normal wear and tear” on the United States of America.
- Translation fee. For non-English speaking immigrants only.
- Monetary conversion fee. Covers cost of converting foreign money to U.S. currency.
- Research and information fee. Immigrant is allowed three questions free of charge before this fee allowing up to 10 additional questions is assessed. Additional questions are available for purchase.
- Regulatory cost recovery fee. To cover the cost of keeping immigrant’s behavior within publicly accepted norms.
- Fees surcharge fee. May be assessed at discretion of intake manager.
- Activation fee. Payable only after all other fees have been paid. Welcome!
- Early termination fee. Assessed if immigrant ever tries to leave country.
Flickr photo courtesy of Andrea_F.