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Might the U.S. see major immigration system changes?

Recently, a new immigration proposal has been getting considerable attention in the news. The proposal is a bill that would put a “merit-based” system in place when it comes to green cards. The President recently gave his support to the bill.

The proposal would make multiple changes to the U.S. immigration system. It is thought that the changes it would make could reduce legal immigration to the U.S. by half within ten years. Among the things the legislation, if passed, would have big impacts on is family immigration.

Currently, family-based immigration is a major immigration route here in America. A great many people who legally immigrate to the U.S. do so as a result of the sponsorship of a relative who is an American citizen or permanent resident. Now, the family immigration avenue isn’t available for all relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Rather it is limited to certain types of relatives. Attorneys can advise U.S. citizens and permanent residents looking to have a relative of theirs join them in the U.S. on whether there are family immigration options available when it comes to this relative.

The new proposal would add some significant further restrictions on family-based immigration. For one, it would get rid of preferences currently available for relatives such as siblings and adult children. It is believed that the immigration system changes the bill proposes would dramatically reduce family-based immigration to the United States. Reductions in family-based immigration account for much of the predicted overall reduction in legal immigration associated with the proposal.

There is already much debate over the proposal, with some strongly criticizing it. One wonders what will happen with this proposal, and what the future will ultimately hold for family-based immigration in the United States.

If the future does see big changes to the U.S. immigration system, it could have big impacts on the immigration situation and options of many individuals. When any major immigration changes happen that an individual is worried might have negative impacts on their ability to achieve their immigration goals, they may want consult with a skilled attorney to learn what the changes mean for them and what steps they may want to consider taking in connection to the changes.

Source: The New York Times, “Trump Supports Plan to Cut Legal Immigration by Half,” Peter Baker, Aug. 2, 2017

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  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
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  • Irvine Chamber