The US is insane.
I’ll have lived in Japan for 10 years in June, which theoretically qualifies me to apply for permanent residency. Not sure if I’ll do it because I know the process is complicated and a lot of bureaucracy, but at least I know there’s no way it would cost even a quarter of what you describe.
I came for one year as a student, then switched to a one-year working visa, then got a three-year one, then another three-year one, and I’m currently on a five-year visa.
I’ve never needed an immigration lawyer (I only know one person who uses one, and that’s because she’s a freelancer who self-sponsors which is a more complicated process). Over the past ten years, my various visa renewals, etc. have cost me, *at MOST* $300. Maybe $400 if I’m being really conservative.