Visa Bill Would Pave Way for More Mexicans to Make US Home

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who heads the Senate Judiciary panel on immigration, said he planned to move the bill as quickly as possible in the Senate, “where we expect it to find overwhelming support.”

The House measure to expand the number of family visas for relatives of U.S. residents hoping to make the U.S. home is expected to benefit, among others, Mexicans, who often wait roughly 10 years for permission to live here.

Under a measure approved by the House Tuesday, with a 389-15 vote, family-based visa limits rise from 7 percent per country to 15 percent per country, an adjustment that could slightly ease the backlog for naturalized citizens, particularly from Mexico and the Philippines, trying to bring relatives into the United States.

The majority of immigrants in the United States are admitted through family-based visas. Mexicans account for about 30 percent of the U.S. immigrant population – that includes Mexicans of all immigration status – and nearly all Mexicans who are granted U.S. permanent residency, known casually as having a “green card,” are admitted into the country on family-based visas.

Almost 60 percent of Mexicans admitted into the United States were immediate relatives sponsored by U.S. citizens, about 35 percent were non-immediate relatives.


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