Relatives of Migrants May Find it Tougher To Get Visas


A plan is being developed among eight U.S. Senators that would make it harder for immigrant relatives of U.S. citizens to get visas in favor of more highly skilled foreign workers as part of the ongoing debate on immigration reform.
According to reporter David Nakamura of, the plan is in discussion among a group of senators known as the Gang of Eight, who are a group of  four Democrats and four Republicans (eight Senators in total) who each represent opposing political parties.  The plan will be part of a larger immigration agreement between the White House and Congress.
The Gang of Eight agrees that there should be a limited number of immigrants allowed into the country, but that number and who they should be remains undecided.
Nakamura also reports that, “Republicans would prefer to admit greater numbers of high-skilled workers, who business leaders say are in short supply and who would provide an immediate economic benefit. Democrats generally favor giving priority to family members of citizens and legal residents already in the country, saying they provide support networks that help families thrive.
As it stands, spouses and minor children of citizens are given top priority, followed by unmarried children over 21 and, lastly, married adult children and siblings. The Senate proposal would eliminate the latter two categories altogether, which add up to about 90,000 visas per year. Those people could still apply for entry into the country but would need other qualifications, such as high-tech skills, to be approved for a green card.”
For 11 million illegal immigrants, there is still a heated debate, and unanswered questions regarding the steps to citizenship.  While family visa programs, and guest worker programs are available, all could potentially have changing regulations, leaving many in the dark regarding the status of their citizenship.