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AILA Resources on Family-Based Immigration (Updated 6/6/13)

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13032048 (posted Jun. 6, 2013)"

Generations of immigrants have been coming to the U.S. to reunite with their families and to find new job opportunities. They have made America strong with their contributions. But our immigration system has not kept pace with our nation's needs. The exceptionally long waits for visas-of years or even decades-have forced U.S. citizens to choose between life in the U.S. or life with their families. These visa backlogs have also hindered or halted business operations. America would be better served by an immigration system that is flexible and capable of meeting the needs of American families, businesses, and the economy. Family reunification has been a cornerstone of the immigration system and keeping families strong is in our nation's interest.

S. 744 – The Senate Immigration Reform Bill

S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” makes important improvements to the family-sponsored immigration system by reducing the existing backlogs in the family system and allowing some family members to immigrate sooner. But the bill will severely disadvantage some families seeking reunification. In particular, S.744 eliminates the ability of U.S. citizens to petition for their siblings or adult married sons and daughters over the age of 31. The new merit-based system in the bill will not address this gap and will leave many people without a meaningful way to join their family. AILA urges Congress to ensure such families will be united in our future immigration system.

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