Immigration laws in the US are very complex. Similar to Obamacare & tax reform, it is very easy to skip the heavy reading and just trust the mainstream media to give you the facts. Historically, immigration to the United States has been based on the reunification of families, admitting immigrants with skills that are valuable to the U.S. economy, and protecting refugees. Since 2000, 1 million are welcome to the US annually, but because of all of the loop holes, we currently have 37 million immigrants here. Below is a quick overview of how and who we accept in our country….
- Family Based Immigration- The limit annually in the country is 480k of those that are immediate family. However, that limit does not apply to children and spouses. That is where it gets tricky, that number isn’t defined, so we end up with many members of one family able to reunite with members already in the US. This also includes going through the preference system. A family member already here can petition for another relative to come to the US if they can prove that person will financially assist the member currently here.
- Temporary Visas- There are 20 types of temp visas. For example, athletes, entertainers, religious workers, diplomats, nurses etc.. Basically those sponsored by an employer for a specific job.
- Permanent Immigration- This one is complicated. Like many there are a certain number of visas allocated, but we exceed 140k visas every year. Those that qualify have advanced degrees, special skills, workers with experience or training in an area we are lacking here in the US, and those that can employ at least 10 people. It also states those with extraordinary abilities, what the heck does that mean? A bad ass circus clown? Very vague.
- Pre-Country Ceilings- This is supposed to ensure all countries get a fair shake. Each country can not contribute more than 7% to our immigration population. It doesn’t take someone with 20/20 vision to see that way more people are coming in through the southern border than any other country. This law is continuously broken and should be better enforced.
- Refugees & Asylees- In my opinion, this is the worst law on the books with more loopholes than a colander. Each year the President, with Congress, decides on this number. Which is silly, because the number is constantly overlooked. Once in our country, any illegal immigrant can claim they can’t go home due to life threatening situations. Who checks out their story? Great question, I don’t know. After a year the refugees are granted Lawful Permanent Residents. From my understanding, this is how we ended up with most of our immigrants. If you could imagine, ICE is overwhelmed and it only makes sense to include the National Guard in protecting the border. Which both President Obama & President Trump did to try to control this problem.
- The Diversity Visas- I honestly see no problem with this law. This law allows countries with a very low number of people coming to the US to join the party. 50k visas are available and the individuals chosen are usually found to contribute to society and less likely commit a crime.
- US Citizenship- Lastly, everyone complains that this is the hardest of them all, well its honestly the law that makes the most sense. Applicants for U.S. citizenship must be at least 18 years old, demonstrate continuous residency, demonstrate “good moral character,” pass English and U.S. history and civics exams, and pay an application fee.
So, this is what Republicans mean when we say lets start by enforcing the laws on the books. If we could at least adhere to the number of visas allocated for each, that would help. 50% of immigrant homes rely on government assistance. Only 30% of American homes rely on government assistance. Crazy, right?
Another fun fact, President Obama deported 2.8 million immigrants in 8 years, the most in American history. President Trump most likely will not hit 2.8 in 8 years, but we shall see. I hope this helps!