HOW CHAIN MIGRATION WORKS
CHAIN MIGRATION LEADS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF CHAIN MIGRATION
Although U.S. immigration policy incorporated family relationships as a basis for admitting immigrants as early as the 1920s, the promotion of family reunification found in current law originated with the passage of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA, P.L. 82-414). While the 1952 act largely retained the national origins quota system established in the Immigration Act of 1924, it also established a hierarchy of family-based preferences that continues to govern contemporary U.S. immigration policy today, including prioritizing spouses and minor children over other relatives and relatives of U.S. citizens over those of lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
The gradual recognition that the national origins quota system was not functioning effectively as a means of regulating immigration was an important factor leading to the major policy revision which came in 1965.
THE SOLUTION: RAISE ACT
"Unless there is a compelling national interest to do otherwise, immigrants should be chosen on the basis of the skills they contribute to the U.S. economy. The Commission believes that admission of nuclear family members and refugees provide such a compelling national interest, even if they are low-skilled. Reunification of adult children and siblings of adult citizens solely because of their family relationship is not as compelling." – Barbara Jordan, June 28, 1995