How Changes to Family Immigration Could Affect Source Countries' Sending Patterns
This fact sheet examines the proposed changes to the United States’ family based immigration system under the Senate immigration bill (The Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act of 2007), which would eliminate family sponsorship categories for adult children and siblings, implement an annual cap for the parent category, and create a points-based selection system for employment-based immigrants.
The report highlights key trends across various family sponsorship categories, examines the human capital characteristics of recent immigrants from major sending countries, and offers insight for understanding the likely impact of such revisions.
The report’s analysis indicates that the Senate bill reforms could shift the U.S. immigration system from one that grants about two-thirds of permanent visas to family members, to a system that eventually allocates less than half of all visas to family members. The ratio of employment-based immigrants is projected to increase from less than one-fifth to two-fifths of overall permanent visa recipients. The report also found cross-country variances in the likelihood of emigrants gaining admission under the proposed points-based selection system.