Expanded Family Visa Bill in U.S. to Benefit Filipinos
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to expand the number of family visas for hopeful immigrants with relatives in the U.S. on Wednesday.
The legislation, which passed 389-15, was a rare example of bipartisan accord on immigration, an issue that largely has been avoided during the current session of Congress because of the political sensitivities involved. The bill, said its sponsor, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, “does encourage high-skilled immigrants who were educated in the U.S. to stay and help build our economy rather than using the skills they learned here to aid our competitor nations.”
Currently, the State Department issues about 140,000 such green cards a year to foreign nationals working in the United States, often after getting degrees from U.S. universities.
These visas cover relatives like sons and daughters, over the age of 21, of U.S. citizens; spouses and minor children of legal U.S. permanent residents; and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, among others.
The Obama administration in its first two years failed in several major efforts to change immigration law, and this year the issue has largely been off the table, with Republicans making clear that anything suggesting amnesty for those in the country illegally would be rejected.
The approved house bill will now go to the Senate for a vote.
Photo from Dominica Weekly