People in Colorado with family members waiting for green cards or who are themselves waiting for employment-based permanent residency may be troubled by reports of immigration legislation backed by President Donald Trump. The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to introduce a bill into Congress that will reflect Trump’s expressed goals of ending the family-based and employment-based routes to permanent residence in favor of replacing them with a points-based system. In particular, reports indicate that the existing backlog of 4 million applications for green cards will be wiped out.
Applicants would need to file their applications again under a newly adopted points-based system. While the White House indicated that there would be some additional points granted for people kicked off of the application backlog, a wide-open application system might leave them on the outs in a future system. There is no way to know if any particular individual may be able to obtain a green card under the new system.
In order for the Trump administration’s plan to be implemented, legislation will need to pass both houses of Congress. It would mark a major change to U.S. immigration law, replacing many of the rules instituted in the Immigration Act of 1990. The administration has not submitted a draft text, so the details of the point system or how it would affect existing applicants are not yet available. Many people expect Congressional Democrats to oppose any proposed legislation and focus specifically on two issues: the elimination of family-based immigration and the eradication of the green-card waiting list.
The Trump administration’s proposed reforms to permanent residency have concerned many people across the country, especially those who are involved with the system themselves. An immigration attorney can provide advice and guidance to people on how they can move their applications forward and protect their status in the country.