The Family Reunification bill, introduced for the first time four years ago, was reintroduced on Thursday the 8th in the House of Representatives by the Democratic representative of California, Judy Chu, who pointed out that this initiative will allow almost 4 million people trapped Due to immigration delays, they can finally be reunited with their families, some of whom have waited more than a decade for the process to be successfully concluded.
The legislation will also help alleviate deep labor shortages in the US economy in areas such as hospitality, construction and professional services.
At a press conference called the same Thursday by the Value Our Families (VOF) coalition and held in the House Triangle building of the United States Capitol, Representative Judy Chu, who sponsored the Family Reunification Act in 2019, was the speaker major.
“Thanks to family immigration,” Chu said, “many of the country's residents can rely on their parents to help raise their children while keeping their jobs, or can find financing for their business through their family when a bank tells them no.
“That is a real credit to me, because immigrants are less dependent on government assistance, start businesses in greater numbers, and own more homes than native-born people,” he explained.
The meeting with the press was part of the week of action "Beyond the bureaucracy", organized by Value Our Families in Washington and held from June 5 to 9, precisely to work for the reintroduction of the Reunification Law of Families, which, among other aspects, aims to achieve:
- More than double the family preference visas available.
- Increase the existing annual visa limits by country, with the aim that the wait is not so long for countries with high levels of migration.
- Set a time limit for visa processing so that no immigrant has to wait more than 10 years for a visa if they have an approved application
“No one should have to wait decades to see their family due to a backlog of paperwork,” said Alaide Vilchis Ibarra, campaign manager for Value Our Families. “This is a bill whose time has come,” she said.
Later, Rep. Judy Chu noted that "unfortunately," the United States immigration system "has not been reformed for decades and does not address the current reality of families trying to come to the United States who are trapped in our backlog." of visas”.
He gave as an example that the average waiting time for a US citizen to sponsor a sibling is almost 25 years. "In total, more than 4 million people are still waiting for a family immigration visa, and that means, in fact, that our system is way behind, a situation that this bill aims to address," said the California congresswoman.
Among some aspects that his initiative proposes are:
- Retrieve unused employment-based and family-sponsored visas from fiscal years 1992-2015.
- For future years, unused visa numbers will automatically "roll over" to the next fiscal year.
- Reclassify spouses, permanent partners, and children under the age of 21 of lawful permanent residents who are waiting in line to join their families, as “immediate relatives,” a category that will not be subject to annual numerical limits
- Increase the number of diversity visas from 50,000 to 80,000 Green Cards per year.
- Increases government discretion to keep families together and waive grounds of inadmissibility or deportation, for humanitarian, family unity, or public interest reasons.
- This could be used to prevent deportations and sponsor previously deported family members to return.