how immigration laws will affect families

Change in laws could divide families
Proposals would limit the ability of legal immigrants to send for kin

— reported by the Houston Chronicle

While the debate about illegal immigration roils the nation, legal immigration from Mexico continues to outpace that of all other countries, U.S. officials say.

More than 1.5 million Mexicans have entered the U.S. legally in the past decade as part of a less visible but significant wave. Most were admitted thanks to a 1965 law and subsequent measures aimed at reuniting families split by immigration.

But family reunification laws are controversial. Immigrant advocates — and some of the Mexican-American leaders marching in recent street protests around the country — say they’re not liberal enough. Some critics, however, say the laws encourage what they describe as “chain migration,” in which immigrants send for not only their children and spouses, but also their brothers, sisters and parents. And they, in turn, send for more relatives — and the number of new immigrant arrivals careens out of control.


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