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Immigrants come together on family-based immigrant visas

For years the Obama administration has been talking about immigration reform and now that it is potentially around the corner, a considerable number of diverse immigrant groups are coming together to protest plans to slash the number of immigrant visas for family members. Joining the voices of Democrats and other immigration advocates, these immigrant groups are arguing that it is extremely important to maintain, if not increase, the number of family-based immigrant visas available.

Two of the groups who are so opposed to fewer family-based immigrant visas are Latino Americans and Asian Americans. Both groups have long been involved in family immigration issues for well-over 100 years. This involvement is likely due to the large number of family-based immigration coming from Asia and Latin America, including the immigration of extended families and relatives that fall outside of the federal immigration definition of a "nuclear family." It is likely that there are a considerable number of immigrants and immigration advocates in York who are similarly arguing against a reduced number of family visas.

Much like employment-based immigration, family immigration is regulated by a cap on the number of visas. While some categories of family members fall outside of the visa cap, such as spouses and minor children, nearly every other kind of relative must have a visa to enter and remain in the country. With a backlog of 4.3 million people in the family visa program alone, it can be a long wait before an individual receives a visa.

The Senate proposal that has raised such ire aims to eliminate approximately 90,000 family visas each year by eliminating a few of the family categories that American citizens can use to petition for a relative to come to the U.S. Looking to restrict family-based immigration to the unmarried adult children of citizens, as well as the spouses and minor children, other family members will need to seek employment-based immigration to enter the United States.

Source: Washington Post, "Senate group considers large reduction in family visas as part of immigration deal," David Nakamura, March 14, 2013

Learn more about how to petition for family members in York by visiting our website.

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