President Trump claimed that a single immigrant can bring in virtually “unlimited” numbers of relatives and said he would end what he calls “chain migration,” which refers to the practice of immigrants bringing other members of their families to the United States. His administration has said immigration should be based on skills and merit and less on family ties.
Under current law, citizens can sponsor their spouses, children, parents and siblings.
Trump would restrict family migration – “chain migration” as he puts it — to spouses and minor children. This plan would put a dent in family migration, but it would not end it.
To sponsor relatives, citizens must prove they can support them financially and the immigrants must pass background checks and meet other requirements.
Trump also portrayed “chain migration” as a danger to the United States, pointing out that some immigrants who arrived through family sponsorship or the visa lottery have committed crimes or attempted terror attacks.
Akayed Ullah, accused of setting off a pipe bomb in New York in December, came to the United States from Bangladesh in 2011, according to the Department of Homeland Security. He obtained a green card as the child of a sibling of a U.S. citizen sponsor.
And Uzbekistan-born Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, who allegedly killed eight people and injured a dozen others in November by driving a pickup truck down a bicycle path near the World Trade Center in New York, arrived in the United States in 2010 through the diversity visa lottery.
The visa lottery grants 50,000 green cards a year to immigrants from low immigration countries. Trump has also proposed to end this system, a plan that won support in a 2013 bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate.