LOUISVILLE, Kentucky. This week, Trump proposed a new bill that would significantly re-make American immigration policy. According to the Washington Post, the new immigration plan would limit family-based immigration and would rely more heavily on a merit-based system. What is this new plan? What will it, and won’t it do? And should immigrant families be worried? If you are in the process of applying for a green card, will the new law affect you?

First, let’s be clear. The plan faces a long uphill battle before it can be passed, and there is skepticism across both political parties about whether the law is politically passable in the senate. It’s not likely that the plan will get the 60 votes it needs in the senate to pass. The plan has not been passed into law, and current immigration policies remain in place. Essentially, just as health care reform faced tough debates, pushback, and criticism, this bill is likely to face the same.

If the plan, as it currently stands, were to be passed, immigrant families would only be able to bring spouses and minor children into the country under the family visa program. Under the current system, immigrants are permitted to sponsor spouses, parents, minor children, siblings, and adult children are also eligible for a limited number of visas. According to the New York Times, the new legislation would eliminate the ability for immigrants to sponsor parents and siblings, potentially tearing families apart. For siblings and parents to come over, they would have to meet the new merit based standards of the law.

Individuals who want to immigrate to the U.S. without the help of family sponsorship, would be awarded points based on their level of education, English-speaking ability, job offers, age, achievements, and entrepreneurial factors. The new system would reduce the number of green cards awarded from 1 million to 500,000. The new law would also limit the number of refugees who could enter the country.

While the merit system is based on systems in place in Canada and Australia, it is important to note that Canada and Australia admit far more immigrants and have plans in place for refugees.

So, if you are considering immigrating to the U.S. or sponsoring a family member, what should you do? First, don’t panic. The bill still has a long road ahead to being passed. However, if you are considering bringing over a parent or a sibling, now might be the time to do so. You may not want to leave your loved one’s fate in the hands of Washington. The O’Brien Law Group are green card lawyers in Louisville, Kentucky who work with families looking to sponsor their loved ones for immigration to the U.S.

The process can be complex and failing to submit the proper documentation can result in a delayed or denied application. If families want to have their paperwork in order before the law has a chance to pass, it may be wise to speak to an immigration lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky. Visit robrienlaw.com to learn more about your options and rights.

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