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Immigration Basics | The ABC's of U.S. Immigration | The Real Solution | Family-Sponsored Immigration | Employment-Based Immigration | Naturalization 


Immigrant families have been coming to America since it was founded. From every nation and every walk of life, each successive generation of immigrants has helped forge America into the strongest, most vibrant nation on earth.

Immigration is embedded in the social fabric of our country. Many of our neighborhoods and cities were founded by immigrant populations who have become pillars of our success as a society and as a nation.. The United States has a proud history of immigration, and we place a high value on family immigration because we value family and community. Much of the debate about immigration reform focuses on the economy and security—both of which are important. But to ignore the importance of family, community and the social contributions of immigrants, would leave a gaping hole in our immigration policy, and would hinder the ability of new Americans to integrate and participate fully in American society. Immigration reform must be comprehensive and take into account the social aspects of the process. We need real reform, and real solutions, to protect our families and strengthen our communities.

Reuniting Families: Immigration reform will not succeed if public policy does not recognize one of the main factors driving migration as well as one of America’s most cherished values: family unity. Restrictive laws and bureaucratic delays too often undermine this cornerstone of our legal immigration system. Those waiting in line should have their admission expedited, and those admitted on work visas should be able to keep their nuclear families intact.


  • There are hundreds of immigrant families that have been separated for an average of 6-8 years.
  • The annual ceiling for family-based immigration is 480,000 individuals per year.
  • There is also a cap of about 25,600 people allowed into the United States from any one country.
  • A combination of these visa ceilings as well as the per-country cap often contributes to long waits for the average immigrant family. For example, a wife, husband, or child of a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident is only now receiving a visa after a 5 year wait.

Promoting Citizenship and Civic Participation and Helping Local Communities: Unlike many other developed nations, America has always absorbed and embraced its immigrants. Immigration to America works because newcomers are encouraged to become new Americans. It is time to renew our nation’s commitment to the full integration of newcomers by providing adult immigrants with quality English instruction, promoting and preparing them for citizenship, and providing them with opportunities to move up the economic ladder. The system should also offer support to local communities working to welcome newcomers.

Helping new immigrants become new Americans
Even when family members do not live together, they still play a crucial role in helping one another adjust to their new home. Families pool their resources to start and run businesses. They provide an important safety net, not just for the immigrants but also for their U.S.-citizen relatives. They take care of one another in times of economic, physical, or emotional hardships, lessening the need for reliance on government services or private charities. In addition, having all or a part of your family in the U.S. strengthens your ties to this country.