Family-sponsored Immigration to the US Just Got A Lot Harder

by admin on October 24, 2019

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Starting on November 3, immigrants sponsored by their family members will have a much harder time obtaining legal US residency.

The move by the Trump administration is meant to cut down on so-called “chain migration”, where a person with US citizenship or permanent legal residency in the US petitions the government to allow their family members to come live in the US as well.

The change also places increased restrictions on those who receive visas through the US “diversity visa” lottery program that seeks to draw immigrants to the US from countries with historically low immigration levels.

The executive order also rejects immigrants who don’t have healthcare or the finances to pay for healthcare costs.

Some estimates state that these new barriers implemented by the Trump administration could reduce legal immigration by up to 65% of current levels.

Trump has made his disdain for the “diversity visa” lottery program and “chain migration” very well known—at one point going so far as to blame them for two terrorist attacks that occurred in New York in 2017.

“Chain migration is a disaster, and very unfair to our country,” Trump stated.

He also added that “the visa lottery is something that should have never been allowed in the first place. People enter a lottery to come into our country. What kind of system is that? It is time for Congress to act and to protect Americans.”

Trump has continually prioritized ending illegal immigration during his time in the White House and re-shaping American immigration policy to favor the merit of potential immigrants over need.

Under the recent changes, direct family members of US citizens or green card holders will now have to prove they can afford health insurance before being fast-tracked for permanent legal residency as they had been before.

If they can’t show they can afford healthcare and plan to obtain it within 30 days, they will be blocked from legally immigrating to the US.

“Visa applicants being sponsored by family members more often than not simply don’t have the finances necessary to pay for healthcare upon moving to the US,” says long-time US immigration attorney Joe Leeds.

The Migration Policy Institute states that 65% of recent green card recipients either have no health insurance at all or have some form of health insurance that is not satisfactory under the new policy.

Read the full story here.

Related: John Oliver Blasts US Legal Immigration System

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