What True Immigration Reform Looks Like: End Family Chain Migration

End family chain migration:

Family-based immigration must be limited to spouses and unmarried minor children. Entitlements for extended family migration lead to an immigration system that is not based on merit, runs on autopilot and fosters exponential growth in immigration.

Going hand-in-hand with the True Immigration Reform principle of implementing a merit-based immigration system, the U.S. should take steps to curb chain migration. Under this policy, the overwhelming majority of legally admitted immigrants are eligible simply because they have a relative in the country who can sponsor them rather than what they might be able to contribute to our society.

In 2010, only 7.4% of legal immigrant admissions –or 77,575 individuals –were based on employment or job skills. The overwhelming majority were admitted due to family connections. It’s time for Americans to take back immigration policy.

What is “chain migration”?

Chain migration allows one immigrant to sponsor several relatives for admission. Five years after being admitted as a legal permanent resident, that individual only needs to seek naturalization and demonstrate an income level 25% higher than the poverty level to begin sponsoring other relatives who then sponsor other relatives and perpetuate this cycle.

In 1965, the Immigration and Naturalization Act was amended to expand the definition of “immediate relatives” to emphasize the reunification of extended family members. Previously, U.S. laws limited this category to the spouses and children under 18 of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.

Chain Migration & Poverty

Since many of these immigrants can be in poverty or near poverty, chain migration creates an enormous glut of legal low-skilled workers who struggle to rise above poverty. In 2007, immigrants were 69% more likely to use welfare programs than non-immigrants, and between 2000-2007, only 60% of legal immigrants entered the U.S. with a high school education or less.

As a result, the problem of chain migration contributes to an already-existing surplus of low-skilled illegal aliens working in the U.S. This increases job competition and drives down wages and conditions to the detriment of American workers. Reforms are needed to ensure that U.S. immigration policies do not harm Americans and instead contribute to a stronger more equitable society.

 True Immigration Reform: End Chain Migration

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  1. avatar

    Adrienne how about the other migration Chain such as the CEO if Google, the father of Steve Jobs, the majority of the 500 Fortune Companies come from immigrants etc etc what makes possible this country to succeed?…..Let’s be FAIR and JUST…it appears the Immigration Issue is a complex issue and you as well as me and everybody else has no grasp of the actual complex problem that basically left alone IS NOT AN ANSWER.

    • avatar

      That Isn’t What the Article is About

      Its about Microsoft replacing our Pacific Northwest Junior College ITs with generally inadequate ones from India [albeit low pay]….they bring in their hoards of parents, siblingls, etc, etc…..then many go on Medicaid after their 5 year wait.

      Its not temporary either….these extended families never leave.

  2. avatar

    People make comments without knowledge. I am myself one of the teachers that came to the district through an h1-b visa.
    I am a highly qualified teacher with a degree and a masters in education from my home country . And after being in Texas a pursued a masters and hold a degree from an accredited university in Texas.
    I cannot speak for every case, but as a foreign teacher I had to apply for degree validation and get certified as any other teacher in Texas.
    I know many Americans who do not want to teach under certain circumstances or for the money paid for these job.
    Please do not judge without knowledge. We as teachers care for the children we teach, put enormous amount of extra hours and create lessons to impact our students.
    How many of you have taught in an inner city in the US Or in a title I school. Let me know when you do so.

    • avatar

      This is about people being admitted with no skills, for the sole reason that they have a relative here. Can you read?

  3. avatar

    And contributing to this problem is the fact that this administration now lets family members “wait” in this country while their applications are approved. So now you apply and you just automatically come here. Something that formerly could have taken years is now yours on demand. Just more of the open borders attitude of this administration.

    Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic leader, played the ultimate card a couple days ago. She said that race was a part of not approving reform. aka amnesty. And she made this statement: “Ive heard them say to the Irish, ‘If it were just you, this would be easy’ “.

    I think it’s up to her to put up or shut up and reveal exactly who she “heard” say this. FAIR has certainly played no favorites on the issue. They have repeatedly pointed out the Irish government support for amnesty. The Irish hypocrisy of course is shown by the fact that they outlawed birthright citizenship by a nearly 80% vote in 2004.