Immigrant families in Georgia are not happy with comments from President Donald Trump that included the term “chain migration” in reference to family-based immigration. The president first used the term in a State of the Union Address. Critics of the remarks say it is an unfair representation of immigration policy that allows citizens and permanent legal residents of America to sponsor family members who wish to enter the country. The president also stated that that one immigrant can become responsible for allowing a number of his or her distant relatives into the country.

While there is no limit to the number of family members a citizen or resident can sponsor, in reality, this program is limited to close relatives. Permanent legal residents of the United States can become sponsors for their spouses. They can also sponsor minor and adult children over 21 years old who remain unmarried.

A bit more flexibility is enjoyed by U.S. citizens who wish to become immigrant sponsors. Citizens can become sponsors for both adult and minor children regardless of their marital status. Married adult children sponsored by U.S. citizens are allowed to bring their families with them to America. U.S. citizens are also allowed to become sponsors for parents and siblings who are nationals of other countries. Neither citizens nor permanent residents of the United States are allowed to sponsor cousins, grandparents, nieces, uncles or other distant relatives.

Family immigration is a complex area of law that can play a huge role in the lives of an immigrant and his or her family. Individuals who possess questions about immigration issues may benefit from a conversation with an experienced immigration attorney.