I’m disappointed to hear recent reports that the Senate’s Gang of Eight is considering a proposal to eliminate the sibling and married adult children visa categories in their comprehensive reform bill.
Under our current system, U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents can petition to have these relatives and others join them in the United States, though waiting periods currently stretch to 23 years.
LIRS and our allies are speaking out strongly for family unity as the Senate and House both draw close to introducing an immigration reform bill. On Friday, LIRS joined other advocacy partners in hosting briefings in both chambers of Congress on family based immigration. The Rev. Dr. Gerald Mansholt, bishop of the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, testified on the panel, speaking to the importance of keeping families together.
This change would be devastating for people like Nadine, a U.S. citizen from Trinidad, who joined Bishop Mansholt in testifying in Friday’s briefing. Nadine has now been waiting for seven years to get a green card for her brother. Her mother, father, and stepfather are deceased, making her brother the closest family she has. Yet they have been separated for nearly a decade and are likely to wait another five years to reunite.
LIRS firmly believes in the central role of family in the formation of faith, character, and community and advocates for the ability of migrants to reunite with family in the United States. We urge our elected officials to prioritize family unity in immigration reform by not reducing visas available in any of the family categories. Please visit our Action Center to share this message with your elected officials.