Family-based immigration benefits our community

The phrase “chain migration” has been in the news a lot and is being used heavily by the administration, portraying family-based immigration as a negative and harmful thing. By portraying family migration in this way, it is ultimately seeking to reduce the overall number of people immigrating to the United States.

It is disheartening as an immigration attorney to see such tactics being used. This stance goes against a core value of this nation, of recognizing the essential value of families, the strength that comes from family unity, and how that inherently benefits our communities.

The negative language surrounding this phrase is also being used to perpetuate false information about our immigration system. “Chain migration” is being used to imply that anyone can bring an extended family member to the United States- an aunt, grandma, or cousin, at any time. It is being used to imply that there is an unchecked system which lacks reasonable restrictions. This is false.

Family-based immigration is limited to certain close family members: spouses, children, parents and siblings (for U.S. citizens). Family members must wait for a visa to become available, and that can take years and years. This is not a fast or immediate process. Before immigrating the family member must complete an interview and medical exam, as well as rigorous background and security checks. This takes time and costs money, which is paid by the family.

The next time you hear this phrase, please take a moment to dig deeper. Understand the false information surrounding it, the goal behind it, and how it attacks a core value of this country.

For additional information, please visit the Immigration Law Clinic page.


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