In a city on the West Coast, Somali immigrants gathered on a recent Friday to discuss issues that affect their communities and other immigrants throughout the nation. Immigrants in Pennsylvania may have similar support networks in place to encourage and assist new arrivals, as well as those who have been living here for some time. A main topic of discussion at the recent gathering was whether newly proposed regulations would adversely affect family immigration.

It has been proposed that the number of immigrants allowed into the United States be cut in half. Beyond that, other proposed changes would shift the focus of the current family-based system to a more individualized program. The new system would give immigration preference to those with special job skills, no language barriers and post-secondary education degrees or certifications.

Many of the Somali families who meet weekly at the conferences in California had just completed a six month program where they learned to read and write English. They and other refugees, naturalized citizens and immigrants gather to share food, conversation and support. They say they’re very worried about the new proposals and how they might limit the ability of other families to come to the United States in search of better lives.

Family immigration (and issues pertaining to immigration in general) is a highly controversial topic. However, when it comes to U.S. immigration law, opinion doesn’t matter as much as legal terminology and what rights exist to protect people from unfair actions. Anyone in Pennsylvania currently facing immigration problems may reach out for support by requesting a meeting with an experienced immigration law attorney.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Proposal to limit legal immigration ripples through Somali families in San Diego“, John Wilkens, Aug. 6, 2017