Petition 81394

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Immigration (81394-C2-R9999)

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Whereas, Family unity is a significant issue of faith.
In Scripture it is the family that is created by God to provide the economic and practical necessities, the religious instruction, the emotional stability and care, and the primary means of socialization for the individual.  Policies, which devalue families ultimately, devalue individuals and entire societies.  The U.S. immigration system must continue to preserve and maintain families.
And Whereas, The unity of family as a basis for immigration should qualify on that merit alone.
Family members should qualify to immigrate to the U.S. if they fall within any of the family immigration categories currently designated by Congress.  They should not have to compete with other immigrants who are coming to the U.S. for employment.
And Whereas, Family unity is vital to our society and the foundation for effective integration.
Family members motivate each other to learn English, purchase homes, pursue job opportunities, start their own businesses, participate in spiritually fulfilling activities, send their children to college, and contribute to their communities.
And Whereas, U.S. citizens should not be barred from being united with their family members.
Currently, only citizens can sponsor their married adult children, parents, and siblings.  The proposed system would restrict U.S. citizens from being able to sponsor these family members. Most people do not regard their siblings as “extended” family members.
And whereas, “Chain migration” is a myth.
This concept purports that immigrants sponsor an uncontrollable number of family members.  In reality, only immigrants who have already gained legal permanent residency or U.S. citizenship can sponsor relatives.  On average, they only sponsor an average of 1.2 family members.
And Whereas, Point systems that hurt families would also hurt the economy.
A point system would not improve employment-based immigration, but would instead result in an influx of degree holders that would compete for jobs currently held by middle-class Americans.  Many of these highly skilled workers may refuse to work in the United States, given such restrictions on family unity.  To improve the admission of highly skilled workers, caps should be increased, which can be done easily without disturbing the healthy balance of family immigration.
Let it be resolved that the General Conference is in support of just and fair immigration policies that benefit and allow the family to preserve and maintain its unity.