By Joe Guzzardi
In the midst of the New York Christmas rush, a terrorist targeted commuters and shoppers for his ISIS-inspired attack. As details unfolded, President Trump’s repeated demands for an end to family-based chain migration through the merit-based RAISE Act got a big boost, thankfully without lives lost. President Trump’s October immigration principles identified ending chain migration as a priority, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has since stated his support.
During the morning hours on December 12 at the jam-packed Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station, 27-year-old Bangladeshi national Akayed Ullah set off a 5-inch metal pipe bomb with a battery pack attached to his stomach. The bomb partially detonated; Ullah and five others were wounded. Ullah is the fourth Bangladeshi national accused of plotting terrorism against the U.S. in little more than a decade.
Department of Homeland Security records showed that Ullah arrived in 2007 on an F43 visa, the type used for family reunification, and is a lawful permanent resident. A further review of DHS data found that since 2005, 141,501 Bangladeshi nationals have entered the United States as chain migrants.
In a press appearance, Department of Justice representative Sarah Flores said that of the 9.3 million immigrants who legally entered the U.S. during the last decade, 70 percent of them came as chain migrants, most poorly vetted, if at all. Chain migration is the major driver of immigration increases.
Here’s a brief chain migration tutorial that shows how flawed the practice is. The U.S. government selects a foreign citizen to be admitted based on what the immigrant will supposedly contribute to the national interest. The original immigrant is allowed to bring in his nuclear family, spouse and minor children. After that, the chain begins. Once the original immigrants are citizens, they can petition parents regardless of age, along with brothers, sisters, unmarried and married adult sons and daughters who, in turn, can bring in their spouses and minor children. And the chain goes on and on – nepotistic immigration.
Chain migration means that every future immigrant who comes in the chain is chosen by his immigrant family, and not the U.S. government. The family-chosen immigrant will come to the U.S. regardless of skills, his/her effect on the jobs market, wages and/or how he/she will further drive population growth and the resultant encroachment on America’s natural habitat and farmland. Each year, with millions of Americans unemployed or under-employed, the federal government gives lifetime work permits to thousands of chain immigrants like Ullah.
Lest it sound too harsh to propose ending chain migration, remember that immigrants can still see their parents, siblings and extended family, but the way most Americans visit their families who live abroad – through visits, not permanent resettlement. As additional assurance that visitors leave when their tourist visas expire, Congress must pass mandatory E-Verify so those who overstay can no longer easily and illegally take U.S. jobs.
Along with the lottery visa which enabled the entry of 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbek national who murdered eight individuals in New York six weeks ago, chain migration may be on the way out. Immigration should be a positive for Americans, and not put them at risk as the visa lottery and chain migration too often do.
Joe Guzzardi has written about immigration and the related social issues for more than 30 years. A native Californian, Joe taught English as a Second Language in the San Joaquin Valley for two decades. He is the National Media Director for CAPS. Follow him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.
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