Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Family unification and Immigration

 Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope.   the Church, along with other members of our democratic society, has the right to work to change laws which are believed to violate basic human dignity, imbued by the Creator. In the case of immigration, the U.S. bishops believe that the broken U.S. immigration system separates families, contributes to the exploitation of migrant workers in the workplace; their abuse by ruthless smugglers; and their deaths in the desert as they seek to find work to seek protection and support their families. 
Why do immigrants come here illegally? Why don’t some immigrants come here legally?
One of the primary reasons certain immigrants do not come to the United States through lawful mechanisms is because of the many systemic barriers that prevent them from coming through a legal process. They come illegally because there are insufficient visas under the current system to come legally. Our system contains a very limited number of permanent visas for low-wage laborers to come to the United States, but the demand for their work is much higher, as many as 300,000 undocumented people each year are absorbed into the U.S. workforce. Immigrants also come illegally because there is an enormous backlog that prevents them from reunifying with family members currently living in the United States in a timely fashion. Some family members might have to wait for more than a decade before their visa is processed and for reunification can occur. Lastly, some immigrants arrive at our borders as they are fleeing persecution and seeking protection and cannot safely live in their home countries. Most recently we have seen this in the case of the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. 2016.  U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops.

Duane Campbell
Chain Migration

Mr. Trump says that the administration insists on ending “chain migration” as a part of any deal on DACA or Dreamers. 
Chain migration is the Republican code word for what they used to call “Anchor Babies.”
That is, current law since 1965 has permitted the immigration of some  family members of current U.S. citizens and permanent residents including husbands, wives, children, and parents. 
The Republican  argument is that persons get visas and come to the U.S., then they bring their families, children, brothers and sisters, and other relatives creating a “chain” of immigration.

 Republican proposals would eliminate family-based visas for siblings of U.S. citizens and set a cap at age 31 for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens seeking immigrant visas.

In place of family based visas, Republican proposals would allocate 120,000 immigrant visas per year for Track One visas, a number that could increase by as much as 5 percent each subsequent year as long as unemployment remains under 8.5 percent, up to a cap of 250,000 visas. The visas would be allocated based on a point system that takes into account various factors, including educational degrees, employment experience, the needs of U.S. employers, U.S. citizen relatives, and age.

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