November 29, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Niskanen Center Report Outlines Proposed Changes to Family-Based (Chain) Migration



WASHINGTON, D.C., November 29, 2017 – Today, the Niskanen Center released a report, “Overview of Family-Based Immigration And the Effects of Limiting Chain Migration,” detailing proposed changes limiting the scope of family members that can be sponsored by relatives for an immigrant visa, without reallocating all of those visas to employment-based or skills-based immigrant populations.

The report provides an overview of the complex process of family-based migration, clarifies misinformation about family-based migration, and presents the short-term and long-term overall immigration impacts of proposed legislation like the RAISE Act and SUCCEED Act, as well as two other hypothetical scenarios.

Ultimately, the report concludes that without accompanying increases to numerical limits elsewhere, each scenario limiting family-based migration will lead to significantly lower levels of immigration in the long term. Including the RAISE Act, any legislation lowering immigration levels will have substantial, negative effects on economic growth, leading to a smaller labor force, less entrepreneurship, and less innovation.

“To ensure that negotiations involving a Dreamer legalization and enforcement package are as fully-informed as possible, it is critical for lawmakers to understand the considerable impacts to overall immigration levels that some of the proposals limiting chain migration have in the long term,” said Kristie De Peña, Senior Counsel at the Niskanen Center.

Even the most modest family-based immigration reform proposal discussed creates an “immigration cliff,” whereby immigration stays on its present course for ten years as we work through the backlog of applicants, before substantial and permanent cuts begin to take place.

Read the full report here and the one-page overview here.

The Niskanen Center is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.

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