The number of immigrants applying to become U.S. citizens plunged 62 percent last year as the cost of naturalization rose. In late 2007, the application cost increased from $330 to $595, plus an $80 fee for computerized fingerprinting. Partly in anticipation of the price increase, 1.38 million people filed applications in 2007, creating a backlog that nearly tripled the average processing time. Citing a decline in real median income among non-citizens in recent years, a recent analysis said that "eligible applicants face mounting economic pressures that threaten to place naturalization out of reach." Shouldn't the government do more to ease the way for would-be citizens through fee defrayment, information workshops and English classes. These permanent residents are paying the same taxes as U.S. citizens and should have the privilege of becoming U.S. Citizens without having to pay these exhorbitant fees.