Immigration cannot be divorced from race. How we perceive those who are new to our nation, how we welcome them – is shaped by the way we see the world’s colors and creeds. This couldn’t be more apparent this past week, as President Trump began 2018 by defining his immigration agenda in two acts: seeking to end “chain migration,” and asking in a meeting why the United States would want “all these people from s***hole countries?” This language can directly be tied to anti-immigrant hate groups and highlights just how influential these groups are in the current immigration fight. Below please find some helpful information on the term “chain migration” and the current immigration fight we are in.
What Is Family “Chain” Migration?
- Legally known as a “family preference immigration,” the term “chain migration” is a racially tinged, political phrase used by anti-immigrant hardliners. It is a derogatory term, similar to the term “anchor baby” which is used to describe U.S. citizen children of immigrants.
- “Family-based immigration, is the movement of individual people from one place to the next, then bringing their immediate family to live with them. It has been the legal migration pattern since the founding of our country.
- Ellis Island is a symbol of family-based immigration migration. One out of three Americans can trace their ancestors from Ellis Island, including Trump.
The One Question Every Journalist Should Be Asking When They Talk About Family-Based “Chain” Migration
- Journalists should be asking every proponent of “ending chain migration” whether they’d be here if not for family-based migration.
Basic Facts Everyone Should Know About Family-Based Migration – Source AILA
- Immigration laws permit U.S. citizens to sponsor immediate family members for immigrant visas, or lawful permanent resident status. Immediate relatives include: spouses of U.S. citizens; unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of U.S. citizens; and parents of adult (21+ years) U.S. citizens.
- Cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and other extended family members are NOT eligible to immigrate to the United States under the current family-based immigration system.
- Even family members who qualify for sponsorship face incredibly long wait times and vetting. For example, as of January 2018, the waiting time for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens is 20 years for the Philippines and Mexico.
Basic Facts Everyone Should Know About Current DREAM Act & DACA Fight Sources: Center For American Progress, The Immigration Council, FWD.us, United We Dream, AILA
- 122 Dreamers are losing DACA status every day that Congress does not act. Without DACA, Dreamers lose all protections and face imminent deportation. As of January 10, over 15,000 DACA recipients have lost their DACA status
- Without DACA, Dreamers lose their ability to work, provide for their families, and business are forced to fire valued employees.
- Legislation takes time to implement, and Dreamers will be at risk in the interim, Dreamers are already experiencing mental health consequences from elevated fear and uncertainty
Hate Groups That Media Should Not Cite (Or At The Very Least Identify Correctly) Source: SPLC
- The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA are designated hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). CIS, in particular, has a long history of reports and statistics derived using flawed and questionable methodologies.
- They were founded and funded by John Tanton, a retired Michigan ophthalmologist who operates a racist publishing company and has written that to maintain American culture, “a European-American majority” is required.
- Journalists who cite these groups risk losing credibility in their reporting. If these groups are cited, the groups should be correctly identified as hate groups.
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