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Will there be an end to family-based immigration in Pennsylvania?

There are many different ways that immigrants arrive in Reading. They may be individuals seeking asylum from their home countries, they could be individuals who are sponsored by their employers or they could be using family-based immigration to reconnect with family members living in Pennsylvania. With immigration reform looming, there are some who fear that family-based immigration may soon become a thing of the past.

Currently, if an American citizen wanted to bring a sibling to the U.S., he or she would work with an immigration lawyer to fill out visa applications and wait for them to be accepted. After a while, however, as long as the non-American sibling didn't have a criminal history, he or she would likely be able to immigrate. Yet, if the current immigration bill that is being discussed in the House of Representatives is passed, Americans will no longer be able to sponsor their siblings.

Part of the proposed immigration reform is to create a way for immigrants who lack the legal permission to be in the country to become citizens. Because there are many different views of immigration, pro-immigrant legislators have had to negotiate and compromise for a way to make this pathway to citizenship a reality. It seems, however, that it will most likely affect Americans sponsoring their families.

There are other concerns that parents may also lose the ability to sponsor their adult, married children, but this bill was passed in the Senate and has not been taken up by the House.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Asians urged to apply for family visas, in case they're done away with,” Cindy Chang, July 30, 2013

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