The benefits of family immigration

There are some people in Kentucky and across the nation who feel that only “skilled” immigrants, with an education should enter our country. They may fear that “chain migration” could have a negative effect on our nation’s economy and crime rate. In one Harvard-Harris Poll, 80 percent of those polled stated that immigrants with skills and an education should be prioritized over those who are coming to the U.S. based on having relations in the country.

However, it is a mistake to think that family immigration negatively affects our country. In fact, almost 50 percent of immigrants who enter our nation via family immigration are college-educated. Many people who are born in the U.S. cannot say the same. And, while there will always be a need for people who can hold highly-skilled jobs, other job sectors that are experiencing significant growth depend on immigrants to fill these positions.

In addition, immigrants can have a positive effect on our nation in ways that cannot necessarily be quantified. For example, they can contribute financially to charities that benefit those less fortunate than them. Immigrants who work in law enforcement keep our neighborhoods safe. Immigrants who work as teachers can have a positive impact on our nation’s youth. All of this may be true, even if the immigrant came to the country on a family-based visa.

Currently, 13.5 percent of people in our nation are immigrants, which is a 5 percent uptick since 1970. But, in a Gallup poll conducted in the summer of 2017, almost 40 percent of respondents reported they supported the current number of immigrants entering our nation. Moreover, 25 percent of respondents reported that they’d even support increasing the number of immigrants entering our nation.

As this shows, while there is a need for “skilled” immigrants, family immigration is still important to the growth and health of our nation. People should not be looked down upon because they entered our nation on a family-based visa. Most immigrants, no matter what type of visa they hold, want to contribute to the place they now call home in a positive way, and this deserves recognition.

Source: The Washington Post, “Family-based immigration has ‘merit,’ too,” Laura Wides-Munoz, Feb. 5, 2018



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