Immigration Policy

Immigration Policy

Fixing What’s Most Broken in the US Immigration System: A Profile of the Family Members of US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents Mired in Multiyear Backlogs

This paper offers estimates and a profile of the 1.55 million US residents potentially eligible for a family-based immigration visa based on a qualifying relationship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) living in their household.  It finds that this population – which is strongly correlated to the 3.7 million persons in family-based visa backlogs – has established long and strong roots in the United States, with US-born citizen children, mortgages, health insurance, and median income and labor force participation rates that exceed those of the overall US population. The paper offers several recommendations to reduce family-based backlogs.  First, it calls for Congress to pass and the administration to implement legislation that provides a path to LPR status for persons in long-term backlogs. This legislation should: 1) define the spouses and minor unmarried children of LPRs as “immediate relatives” not subject to numerical limits, 2) not count the derivative family members of principal visa beneficiaries against per country and annual quotas, and 3) raise per country caps. The administration should also re-issue the visas of legal immigrants who emigrate each year, particularly those who formally abandon LPR status. Finally, Congress should also advance the cutoff date for the US registry program.

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Jeannette Money of University of California, Davis reviews Defining British Citizenship. Empire, Commonwealth and Modern Britain by Rieko Karatani. Rieko Karatani seeks to explain the immigration and citizenship policies in Britain that repeatedly postponed the creation of British citizenship until 1981....

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Barbara Schmitter Heisler of Gettysburg College reviews Migration in European History by Klaus Bade.  Klaus Bade describes that since the fall of the Iron Curtain, migration has become a major cause for concern in many European countries, but migrations to,...

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Simone Wegge of the College of Staten Island reviews The Economics of Migration, Vols. I-IV by Klaus Zimmermann and Thomas Bauer.  Klaus Zimmermann and Thomas Bauer show that in the age of globalization, the importance of migration for the industrialized...

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