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Trump Administration’s Plan Would Drastically Reduce Family-Sponsored Immigration

Nov 26, 2019

In May 2019, President Trump announced a new immigration reform plan (not to be confused with his old immigration reform plan), including dramatic changes to how green cards would be allocated. Although this proposal has limited prospects of becoming law in the near term, it indicates how skeptics of family-based immigration would like to change the current system to reflect Trump’s immigration policies.

In short, Trump’s proposal would maintain the same number of new green cards issued each year (about 1.1 million), but reallocate over 500,000 of them to a “points-based” category designed to reward “extraordinary talent,” “professional and specialized vocations,” and “exceptional academic track records.”

This would apparently be accomplished by eliminating family-sponsored green cards for the parents, adult children, and siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as the spouses and young children of permanent residents. The Diversity Visa program would be eliminated and reallocated as well.

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The following chart presents a detailed breakdown of family-sponsored immigration flows for 200 counties across the United States. Under the Trump plan, individuals in the columns labeled “parents of U.S. citizens” and “other relatives” would no longer be eligible for a family-sponsored green card.

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Learn more in our 2019 family-based immigration report.


Wait Time for Some Green Card Categories Could Be 100 years Plus

Family-Sponsored Immigrants Better Educated Than Native-Born U.S. Citizens

Map of Family-Sponsored Immigrants In the United States

Nearly 4 Million People Waiting For Family-Sponsored Green Card

Spouses and Children of Green Card Holders Sometimes Wait Years to Live Together In U.S.

Canada and Australia Issue Twice the Number of Permanent Resident Visas Compared to U.S.

Majority of Immigrants Obtain Green Card Through Family

Wait Times for Family-Sponsored Green Cards Have Nearly Doubled

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