US lawmakers have recently revived a bill that will expand the immigration eligibility of immediate family members as well as spouses of same-sex marriages. The lawmakers include several Democratic representatives of the US House of Representatives.
One high profile member is Mike Honda from California, who also sponsored the Reuniting Families Act (RFA). Honda states that the RFA will help thousands of families become reunited by using thousands of visas that have gone unused.
Stiff Opposition from Capitol Hill
As the topic of immigration as well as illegal immigration has been a focal point during this year’s presidential election, it is no surprise that the bill faces stiff opposition from several fronts on Capitol Hill.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been particularly harsh about immigration regulations which this bill seeks to lighten in several views.
How the Bill Works
The way in which the US Immigration laws currently works the only people who are considered to be immediately related to green card holders and US citizens are spouses, children under the age of 21 and parents above the age of 21.
The RFA, which was introduced in 2013, looks to lighten this restriction by seeking the immediate family to include siblings as well. However, the RFA also seeks to ensure equal rights to same-sex, and interfaith couples.
Another representative from California, Judy Chu, states that by increasing the amount of people who qualify as immediate family members would increase the visa approval rate drastically.
Who Would the RFA Impact the most?
Currently the number of the same-sex, and bi-sexual couples that could actually benefit from the RFA reach about 36,000 in number. Another demographic that would be immediately affected by the approval of the bill would be the Asian-American Community.
The large impact on the Asian-American community is due to the emphasis on family reunion that is the primary path to immigration to the US.
While the bill is currently yet to pass and it does seem that lawmakers will be waiting on who wins this year’s presidential election the Law Offices of Edward Lai would be willing to help those who need assistance.
If you or someone you know would need help in your family immigration situation, please call the offices at 510-397-8287.