U.S. Immigration Policy Hurts Families


Here's why…

In theory, the current immigration system is designed to make it easier for families to reunite, but in practice it is extremely complicated and ineffective. How quickly a family member can legally immigrate depends on several factors, including:

1. The legal status of their family sponsor (citizen vs. legal permanent resident)
2. Their specific relationship to that sponsor (parent, child, sibling)
3. The country of origin
4. Their age and marital status

Visa Process

The combination of these factors leads to extreme disparity, especially for those who come from countries with a high rate of immigration to the U.S. Here are the wait times for immigrants who were granted visas in January of 2012:

  1. adult Filipino brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens: 23 years
  2. married children of U.S. citizens from Mexico: 20 years
  3. unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from mainland China and India: 8 years

Instead of reuniting families, this system clearly keeps them apart.


Families who enter the U.S. without authorization are in constant danger of being separated by deportation. Here are a few important numbers:

  1. 400,000 – the number of people the Obama administration deported in 2011, many of whom were seperated from family members in the U.S.
  2. 46,000 – the number of U.S. children (legal citizens) whose parents were deported during the first half of last year, according to a study by The Applied Research Center.
  3. 5,100 – the number of children now in foster care because their parents were deported.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You May Also Want to Read

Comment policy: ESA represents a wide variety of understandings and practices surrounding our shared Christian faith. The purpose of the ESA blog is to facilitate loving conversation; please know that individual authors do not speak for ESA as a whole. Even if you don\'t see yourself or your experience reflected in something you read here, we invite you to experience it anyway, and see if God can meet you there. What can take away from considering this point of view? What might you add? The comments section below is where you can share the answers to those questions, if you feel so moved. Please express your thoughts in ways that are constructive, purposeful, and respectful. Give those you disagree with the benefit of the doubt, and assume they are neither idiots nor evil. Name-calling, sweeping condemnations, and any other comments that suggest you have forgotten that we are all children of God will be deleted. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.