The current immigration system whereby new immigrants are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of foreign relatives to the U.S. with them is “not the way we should be running our immigration system,” United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Lee Francis Cissna says.
On Tuesday, Cissna pleaded with the Republican-controlled Congress to end the process known as “chain migration” whereby every two new immigrants bring approximately seven foreign relatives with them to the U.S.
Likewise, Cissna called on Congress to end the Diversity Visa Lottery program, by virtue of which 50,000 visas are randomly given out annually to foreign nationals from a multitude of countries. The countries include those with terrorist problems, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Yemen, and Uzbekistan.
That is not the way we should be running our immigration system. A system like that that includes something like the Diversity Visa program, these extended family categories, are not the way anybody would design this immigration system if we could start from scratch today. What we need is an immigration system that is selective. We want to be able to select the types of people who are coming here based on criteria that ensure their success, criteria that ensure their ability to assimilate successfully in our country. And random lotteries, extended-family connections, that’s not the way to run our immigration system. I appeal, we appeal to the Congress as they consider these matters as we speak and in the coming weeks to seriously take into account these concerns that we have with the way the immigration system is structured and its vulnerabilities as I just described and correct that.
Although President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and now Cissna have all asked the Republican-dominated House and Senate to further the White House’s pro-American immigration agenda by ending chain migration and the Visa Lottery, the GOP leadership has yet to take any initiative on the issue.
This week, an alleged pro-ISIS suicide-bomber attempted to blow up the New York City Port Authority, but failed. The man, 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, arrived in the U.S. from Bangladesh in 2011 as a foreign relative of his uncle, who had years before won a Green Card to enter the country through the Visa Lottery.
Suspected ISIS-inspired New York City terrorist, Uzbek national, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov – who is accused of murdering at least eight individuals – entered the U.S. in 2010 by winning one of the 50,000 visas randomly allotted in the Visa Lottery.
According to Cissna, about 70 percent of immigrants who entered the U.S. in 2010 from Uzbekistan did so through the Visa Lottery.
About 9.3 million foreign nationals have come to the U.S. as chain migrants between 2005 and 2016, Breitbart News reported. In that same time period, a total of 13.06 million foreign nationals have entered the U.S. through the legal immigration system, as every seven out of 10 new arrivals come to the country for nothing other than family reunification.
This makes chain migration the largest driver of immigration to the U.S. — making up more than 70 percent — with every two new arrivals bringing seven foreign relatives with them.
Currently, only one in 15 foreign nationals admitted to the U.S. come to the country based on skills and employment purposes. Though roughly 150,000 employment-based Green Cards are allotted every year, half of those Green Cards actually go to the foreign relatives of employees.
Since 2005, the U.S. admitted 80,252 chain migrants from Iran, despite the nation being listed by the U.S. State Department as a sponsor of terrorism.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.