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the basic issue

The United States is a country built on immigration, but its laws are pulling immigrant families apart.  In particular, families of Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs — also known as green card holders).

The problem stems from an annual cap on immigrant visas available to spouses and minor children of LPRs (also known as F2A visas).  This has resulted in a huge backlog, putting family members who apply for immigrant visas on a waiting list.  The current waiting time, coupled with processing delays, is about 5 years.

During this 5 year waiting period, the spouse and minor children of an LPR are ineligible for student or visitor visas.  They must wait outside the U.S. until they are granted permanent resident status.  The LPR cannot live with his/her family outside the U.S., as doing so would risk the loss of Permanent Residency.  In general, the LPR cannot leave the U.S. for more than 6 months at a time.

Essentially, families are forced to stay apart for unreasonably long periods while they wait for immigration processing.

what about other categories?

In contrast, every other category — students, workers, citizens — can sponsor their families to live in the U.S. with them without excessive delays.

Applicants for other categories of immigrant visas, for example, siblings of U.S. citizens, face similar backlogs and restrictions.  None, however, violate what we believe to be a basic tenet — the family is an integral unit that must be kept together.

Ripping husbands, wives and children apart from each other should not be the effect of an Immigration System.


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