Days before President Donald Trump spoke about illegal immigration at his State of the Union Address, U.S. Representative Jody Hice, who represents Athens in the 10th Congressional district, introduced a bill of his own that will seek to end so-called “chain migration.”
According to CBS News, chain migration, or family reunification, is a process in which U.S. citizens and green card holders can receive visas for extended family members to immigrate to the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security has its own hierarchical list, which gives preference to unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens first, followed by spouses and children of “alien” residents, married sons, daughters, and/or grandchildren of U.S. citizens and brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old.
In 2016, 238,087 men, women and children came into the U.S. as one of these “family sponsored preferences,” but of these, less than 10 percent were relatives of alien residents.
The Nuclear Family Priority Act, or H.R. 891, seeks to limit extended family visas.
“The Nuclear Family Priority Act would limit family-sponsored immigrant categories to the nuclear family by ensuring that immigrants with distant relatives already in the U.S. aren’t able to jump the line simply because of those familial connections,” Hice stated.
Hice also stated that the need for this bill comes from a “strain” on the U.S.’s immigration system.
“With weekly jobless claims at their lowest since 1969, our economy continues to thrive under the Trump Administration. This growth has the unfortunate side effect of incentivizing those from other countries to come here – and come here illegally – in pursuit of greater opportunity,” Hice wrote. “The strain on our immigration system starts at the border – frequently being flooded by thousands of people in caravans, who see not only the economic potential available to them in our country, but also our inability to detain and deport them.”
Still in its infancy, H.R. 891 has yet to be voted on by the House of Representatives.
For more information or to contact Rep. Hice, visit https://hice.house.gov/.