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What could “merit-based” immigration mean for you?

The White House has been touting major immigration reforms for some time now, and there is a very real chance that the United States could soon see the largest change in immigration policy in nearly a century. As politicians push back and forth, one of the most commonly-used terms in the debate is "merit-based immigration".

While various parties may disagree about what exactly this term truly means, it seems clear that the current administration hopes to do away with one of our country's most accepted immigration practices -- allowing legal immigrants and citizens to sponsor family members to immigrate.

While the White House claims that it wants to increase the number of highly-skilled individuals coming into the country, it has not made many moves that direction. In fact, this administration has not sought any legislative changes that increase employers' ability to hire highly-skilled workers in the last year.

Under the White House's proposal, an individual's mother, father, brothers, sisters and children over the age of 18 would be classified as "extended family." This would make it much more difficult for those individuals to build a life in America. Under the current law, these individuals all qualify as immediate family and may be sponsored for immigration.

If you or a loved one is facing immigration difficulties, it is very important to stay up-to-date on the constantly-changing laws and regulations. This can help keep you and the ones you love safe. An experienced immigration attorney can help you understand the legal struggles you may face and determine a strong strategy for pursuing your goal of keeping your family together here in the U.S.

Source: Forbes, "Right Now, 'Merit-Based' Just Means Fewer Immigrants," March 11, 2018

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