CHAIN MIGRATION: Nothing New Under the Sun

The current debate over family immigration has brought to the forefront the term “chain migration”. The term has recently become contentious and pejorative even though it has been a commonplace practice for many years. Importantly, the intent of chain migration has always been family reunification.

Historically chain migration was when various migrant groups would move to an area following others from their group who came to America before them. This made sense because they could often expect a helping hand and job opportunities from others who had already found success here. It also created ethnic neighborhoods or enclaves within major cities composed of generations of cultures (think Chinatown and Little Italy in New York, or Little Havana in Miami).

In a State of the Union the President has called for an end to “chain migration”. Typically, these overtones by the administration cause a shift in social norms and attitudes, which inevitably influences immigration policy and laws. It is safe to assume that the current posture is looking for ways to reduce legal immigration rather than increase it.

While this may take time to implement, if you have parents, children, siblings or other eligible relatives that you have been considering petitioning to the United States, now may be the perfect time to do so.

Based on your status as a citizen or permanent resident, the US Immigration Team, PLLC will assess your situation and provide you timely options. Family is the basis for which many immigration laws were created and while these issues are now in debate, it’s wise to know your options.