Senator Phil Gingrey
Senator Phil Gingrey


Rep. Phil Gingrey has introduced H.R.878 that makes changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act, reducing the number of legal family-sponsored immigrants entering the country. Gingrey introduced the same bill in both the 110th Congress (H.R.938) and the 109th (H.R.6283).

The Nuclear Family Priority Act would eliminate the extended family visa categories (e.g., married sons and daughters of citizens, etc.), thus ending “chain migration” as recommended by the bi-partisan Barbara Jordan Commission in 1997.

Chain migration is the process where seemingly endless “chains” of foreign nationals are allowed to immigrate to the United States, since our laws allow citizens and lawful permanent residents to bring in their non-nuclear, adult family members. It is the primary mechanism that has caused legal immigration in this country to quadruple since the 1960s.

The current annual limits on greencards are 65,000 adult brothers and sisters, 23,400 married sons and daughters and 23,400 unmarried adult sons and daughters. H.R. 878 would eliminate all three categories and not provide an increase in any other category, thereby directly decreasing overall immigration by 111,800 per year (1.118 million a decade). This would indirectly reduce the numbers by even more over time as there would be fewer recent immigrants who are the ones most likely to bring people into the country as spouses or parents of U.S. citizens.

The NumbersUSA publication "Categories of Migrants Recognized Under U.S. Law" details the impact of Chain Migration on current immigration numbers.

Currently, there are 20 cosponsors to Gingrey's bill. NumbersUSA will recognize the current cosponsors and any additional cosponsors over the next few weeks.
Chain Migration

Updated: Fri, Jul 23rd 2010 @ 7:26am EDT