Under threat from the Trump administration, immigrants rush to submit visa petitions for family abroad


In recent months, President Trump has expanded his rhetoric beyond ‘illegal immigration’ to target programs that facilitate legal immigration, suggesting that the administration doesn’t merely want to enforce the law, but seeks to radically change it to shut out hundreds of thousands of immigrants who currently have pathways to green cards. As a result, many worried immigrants are rushing to submit petitions for their qualifying family members.

The Family-Based Immigrant Visa program issues visas to qualifying foreign-born family members of naturalized citizens and legal permanent residents. The purpose of these visas is to reunite family members through granting legal status and a pathway to United States citizenship. The process allows for only a small range of relationship categories to apply, takes years or decades for even immediate family of U.S. citizens and legal residents, involves intense vetting of all petitioners and potential beneficiaries, and has strict annual caps on the number of petitions approved.

The Trump administration describes the program disparagingly as “chain migration,” a demeaning term meant to cast the program as a pipeline of unchecked immigration that allows the worst of the worst into the U.S. based on tenuous family relationships. Under this cloudy language, they are seeking to change the law to lower the caps on approvals and cut out some currently qualifying family categories altogether. Not surprisingly, immigration attorneys have seen a surge in immigrants seeking to submit petitions for their family members, hoping to get the process started before the law can be changed and the door is closed.

Soberalski Immigration Law holds family to be sacred, and considers this goal of the current administration to be cruel and wrong. We cannot say when or if President Trump will ultimately get his way, but we strongly encourage all naturalized citizens and legal permanent residents who have family members abroad to submit petitions as soon as possible. Please call our office at 414-533-5000 to set up a consultation , so that we may serve you and your loved ones.

For more information on this important topic, please see: https://www.npr.org/2018/02/16/586616114/immigrants-are-scrambling-to-submit-petitions-for-family-members-to-come-to-u-s