PRIORITIZING NUCLEAR FAMILY IMMIGRATION: President Donald J. Trump has proposed an immigration framework that would implement needed changes to our legal immigration system while protecting close family relationships.

  • President Trump has released an immigration framework that confronts the problems facing our immigration system.
  • The President’s framework would limit family-sponsored immigrants to spouses and minor children, thus promoting nuclear family immigration and ending extended-family chain migration.

ADDRESSING EXTENDED-FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION: Now is the time to enact common-sense reforms to base immigration on individual merit and skill and to emphasize close familial relationships. 

  • Under our current immigration law, a single immigrant may sponsor numerous relatives to resettle in the United States as lawful permanent residents, including relatives beyond their nuclear family.
    • Each family member of the principal immigrant who comes to the United States as a permanent resident can, in turn, sponsor relatives beyond his or her own nuclear family.
    • The result is that a single immigrant may create a pathway for the migration of far-extended family members, or extended-family chain migration.
    • Of course, all aliens who come to the United States as lawful permanent residents may be able to eventually obtain United States citizenship.
  • Currently, far more immigrants resettle in the United States based on family relations than on skill or merit.  Each year, the United States accepts enough family-based immigrants:
    • to fill a large high school every day;
    • to fill a college basketball arena every week; and
    • to fill an entire football stadium every month.
  • Between two-thirds and 70 percent of legal immigration into the United States is based on family relations.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, the United States admitted 9.3 million immigrants based on family relations.
  • Extended family migration has served as a leading source of low-skilled immigration into the United States, ultimately hurting vulnerable American workers.
    • One in every fifteen of the immigrants that enters the United States through our legal immigration system does so on the basis of individual skill or a job.
    • Half of all immigrant-headed households use at least one welfare program.
    • The flood of low-skilled immigrants into the United States has suppressed wages, harmed American workers, and strained Federal resources.
  • In a recent Harvard-Harris poll, 79 percent of those polled believed our immigration system should be based on an alien’s ability to contribute to America as measured by their education and skills.
    • A merit-based system would properly match the needs of the modern United States economy and protect vulnerable blue-collar American workers.
  • Other advanced countries like Canada and Australia use a merit-based immigration system that benefits both the immigrants and those nations.
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