WASHINGTON – Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris (both D-CA) have sent a letter to both the Department of Homeland Security and the united States Citizenship and Immigration Services asking them to waive fees for immigrants who may have lost important immigration documents in the recent California wildfires.

The fires charred more than 245,000 acres of land and destroyed 8,900 homes and structures.

“To lessen the burden on Californians seeking to rebuild their lives, we respectfully request that you exercise your authority to provide a temporary blanket fee waiver for the replacement of USCIS documents for residents of the nine impacted counties who declare under a penalty of perjury that their documents were lost, damaged, or destroyed because of the wildfires,” the senators wrote.

The USCIS does allow all immigrants the opportunity to get another copy of their stolen, lost or damaged documents if they pay the normal fee.

For a lost green card the cost is $540 and a lost employment authorization document is $495.

“Now that the fires are contained, recovery efforts are underway and many Californians must reconstruct their entire lives. This, as you can imagine, is emotionally taxing and logistically overwhelming,” the senators wrote.

The USCIS does allow for fee waivers for those who can prove they have a low income. The senators believe filling out that type of paperwork would be a burden for fire victims who are already dealing with devastating loss.

“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 wrote.

“To lessen the burden on Californians seeking to rebuild their lives, we respectfully request that you exercise your authority to provide a temporary blanket fee waiver for the replacement of USCIS documents for residents of the nine impacted counties who declare under a penalty of perjury that their documents were lost, damaged, or destroyed because of the wildfires.”

The letter was sent November 16, 2017. The federal organizations have yet to respond to the request.