Families look for relief from immigration bill
That could begin to change under legislation being written in the Senate, where the nation's longstanding emphasis on family-based immigration is coming under scrutiny.
Unlike most other industrialized nations, the U.S. awards a much larger proportion of permanent residency status to family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents than to foreigners with job prospects here. About two-thirds of permanent legal immigration to the U.S. is family-based, compared with about 15 percent that is employment-based, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The remainder is largely humanitarian.
It's a lopsided ratio that may change under a bill being crafted by a Senate bipartisan negotiating group that is aiming to release legislation next month. Several senators involved in the talks said employment-based immigration must increase to help American competitiveness and the U.S. economy. High-tech companies have been pleading for more workers, and some Republicans, in particular, believe the educational backgrounds and employment potential of prospective immigrants should be a bigger part of the calculus in awarding green cards, the permanent resident visas that are the key step toward citizenship.
"In the 21st century, more of our immigration needs to be based on merit and skill,'' said Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a member of the "Gang of Eight'' senators negotiating an immigration bill.The senators' proposals are still evolving and details remain unclear. For advocates of family-based immigration,
Be the first to comment.