,Chain migration has become a hot topic in the news since President Donald Trump gave the annual State of the Union address back in January. President Trump made a claim that one immigrant is able to bring in “virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives” to the United States in what he says is chain migration. Under the current administration’s plan, immigrants would only be allowed to sponsor spouses and minor children for access to the country.
If you take a deep look at the law, one could argue that when one immigrant comes to the United States, it could lead to their aunt or uncle winding up in the country via sponsorships. This would happen by the original immigrant sponsoring their parents, who would then sponsor their brother or sister for access to the country.
Right now, no citizen of the United States or lawful permanent resident can petition to bring their aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, grandparent or grandchild to the country. The immigrant would first need to become a citizen of the country before petitioning for sponsorship of a relative. The waiting list for obtaining a visa for siblings of United States residents currently sits at 13 years.
Anyone holding a green card is allowed to petition for an unmarried child or a spouse. This includes unmarried children who are over the age of 21. U.S. citizens are allowed to petition for sponsorships for married children. The children of U.S. citizens can list their children on a petition for a green card as well.
Immigration laws can be very difficult to interpret, especially since they are being looked at and changed at the federal level. It’s best to speak with someone experienced in family immigration issues in the Baltimore area if you have questions about bringing family to the United States.
Source: Politifact, “Donald Trump’s misleading claim about chain migration, unlimited sponsorship of distant relatives,” Miriam Valverde, Jan. 31, 2018