Florida is home to a large immigrant population primarily from Latin America and the Caribbean. In these migrant cultures, chain migration is how families stay together. One adult in the family may migrate to the U.S. due to school, employment or a relationship. They then work hard to be reunited with their families in their new home. 

According to PBS, the president has spoken out against chain migration, even when families complete the entire process legally. His concern is that one immigrant may generate an unlimited pool of successful immigrants through close family relationship ties. 

In truth, the family-based immigration process often takes years — even decades — to be completed. People whose families apply on their behalf are also subjected to security and background checks to ensure they are good additions to the U.S. population. Putting an end to this form of migration may keep families apart. 

USCIS explains that distant relatives are not eligible for family-based migration. It provides the following as eligible family members: 

  • Children 
  • Spouses 
  • Parents 
  • Siblings 

If the family member is already in the United States, then they may become eligible for an adjustment of status. This may ultimately lead to the granting of an immigrant visa and employment authorization. However, there is no guarantee of this. Note that some immigrants may not be eligible due to grounds of inadmissibility. Still, it may be possible to challenge these or seek relief in some other way. 

It is not yet clear what measures the president may take to further limit family-based chain migration. However, the effects on families could be devastating. American-born citizens who marry abroad would also be affected as they might not be able to bring their spouses home. 

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