New House Bill Would End Chain Migration, Stabilize Population

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

March 3, 2015

Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) has introduced new legislation to end what’s known as chain migration, one of the biggest contributors to mass immigration. A similar bill proposed last year by another Georgia Republican, Phil Gingrey, did not advance.

Hice’s bill, H.R. 604, would limit chain migration, the little understood but devastating phenomenon that allows anchor immigrants to bring in their adult children, adult brothers and sisters, and parents – each of whom can then bring in their adult children – which creates an endless “chain” of immigration initiated by the single original immigrant. Chain migration began in 1965 when the Hart-Cellar Act became law.

Chain migration accounts for more than half of all immigration and is responsible for most of the long-term population growth since 1972, when native-born Americans started having children at an average replacement level of 2.1 per family to promote a more sustainable future for their children and grandchildren.

H.R. 604 would eliminate parents, married adult children and siblings from the chain. Parents could quality for a renewable visa that doesn’t include work authorization if their children could provide proof of financial support and health insurance.

The benefits should Hice’s bill become law include:

  • Non-nuclear family members that eventually can petition distant relatives would be removed from the chain which, in turn, would reduce legal immigration and stabilize population.
  • Since the new immigrants wouldn’t be work authorized, unemployed and underemployed Americans would have a better chance at landing jobs.
  • With their children guaranteeing immigrant parents’ financial support and medical care, fewer would collect welfare benefits.

Fifty years of chain migration have led to higher U.S. population, depleted natural resources, urban sprawl and an overall diminished quality of life for Americans.

Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your representatives to support H.R. 604.


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