The United States of America is a nation of immigrants, as our politicians never cease to remind us. That it’s a cliche in 2015 doesn’t make it any less true. America is a nation of immigrants, always has been, and God willing, it always will be.
But there’s an other pearl of wisdom tossed around by American politicians — that the family is at the heart of all that is good and decent in American culture. And that’s why family based immigration is such a frustrating experience for so many. In 2015, U.S. immigration law has not adapted to our 21st century world, and too often, immigrants are forced to choose between living in the United States or being reunited with their family.
For hundreds of years, U.S. immigration law has sought to keep families together, based on the premise that family reunification is a moral necessity. Unfortunately, the United States is currently undergoing an anti-immigrant backlash not seen since the 19th century, when the “Know Nothing” populist political party sought to close the nation’s borders to immigrants from Europe.
In 2015, anti-immigrant crusaders are looking southwards, and literally fantasizing about building a gigantic “Game of Thrones” style wall across the U.S./Mexico border. That means immigrants are forced to wait years on long waiting lists for visas, praying that one day soon they can be reunited with their families.
Family based immigration lawyers aim to help reunited families, separated by borders. Because of laws that make it difficult to re-enter the United States, it’s often a long, complex process, even with the help of the best immigration lawyers on your side. If you’re seeking information on immigration law in the United States, here’s a good introduction from family based immigration lawyers with the Immigration Policy Center:
“Since the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965, legal immigration to the United States has been based primarily on the family ties or the work skills of prospective immigrants. Under the provisions of current immigration law, the family-based immigration category allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs), or ?green card? holders, to bring certain family members to the United States. There are 480,000 family-based visas available every year.”
Family based immigrants are brought to the country either as immediate relatives of citizens or via the family preference system. But what about after families are reunited? Countless studies show that when families are kept together, immigrants are far more likely to move up the socio-economic ladder.
For immigrants trying to move their family to the United States, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s generally easier to receive a family based visa compared to other types of immigration. Unfortunately, family based immigration processing times can remain long and painful. A good family based immigration lawyer can sometimes help this process run more smoothly, but the wheels of government bureaucracy move slowly — especially around elections.