Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Danielle Taana Smith
U.S. immigration laws are based on the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act and subsequent amendments. These laws grant priority for permanent residence status to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents for family reunification. Priority is also given to applicants with critical job skills, refugees and asylum seekers, and applicants from countries with low levels of immigration to the United States (diversity immigrants). The Immigration Act of 1990 specifies an annual limit of between 416,000 and 675,000 for family-sponsored preferences, employment preferences, and diversity immigrants. The annual limit for family-sponsored preferences is from 226,000 to 480,000 immigrants, accounting for more than half of all immigration priorities. There are also per country and dependent area limits of 7 percent and 2 percent respectively, for the total number of family-sponsored and employment preferences. Family reunification consists of two categories: immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and family-sponsored preferences. Immediate relatives of ...