The federal government has, for the first time, broken down the actual number of immigrants who have entered the U.S. based on their family ties in what is called “chain migration.”
Green cards issued between 2005 and 2015 to migrants who have family preference or are related to immigrants already in the country have been counted and broken down by country and the numbers are “explosive” the White House said, according to Fox News.
“For years, we’ve known that large numbers of immigrants have been coming based on petitions from previous immigrants,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Lee Cissna told Fox News. “But this is the first time we really kind of see the whole scope of the problem. And legislators or policymakers at DHS can do what they need to do address the problem.”
About 9.3 million new immigrants were permanently resettled on the basis of family ties during that decade, a number that is more than 70 percent of all new immigration in that 10 years, and primarily behind the number of low-skilled workers’ entry into the U.S, the White House said.
“These numbers are explosive. They show that American immigration skews almost entirely towards family-based admissions,” a White House official told Fox News.
At the top of the list of origin countries is Mexico with 1.7 million admissions, more than 600,000 each come from India and the Philippines and Iran has more than 80,000, according to the Department of Homeland Security data.
Congressional Democrats seeking a compromise on the so-called “Dreamer” immigrants, who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children, were urged by President Donald Trump to take chain migration into account.
Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia think the family preference in immigration entries should be eliminated.
“We have current immigrants determining who future immigrants will do – will be, independent of their ability to be contributory to our economy,” Perdue told Fox News.
“Seven out of every ten immigrants who come to this country, they don’t come because of their job skills or their education. They come simply because they had a family member come here five or ten or 20 years ago,” Sen. Tom Cotton said on “Special Report.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed with Trump in calling on Democrats to concede to ending chain migration in exchange for a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Cotton echosed those sentiments on Thursday.
“It’s a necessary condition, maybe not the only condition, but a necessary condition,” the Arkansas Republican said. “If you give amnesty to one or two million illegal immigrants who were brought here through no fault of their own as kids, you’re going to have at least a couple of negative effects. And one of those negative effects is you’re going to create a whole new chain of chain migration. The way to control for that negative effect is to stop chain migration.”
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