RELEASE: 2 New CAP Analyses Conclude Ending Family Reunification and Diversity Visas Would Alter Migration Patterns Worldwide and Go Against America’s Long-Standing Immigration Priorities

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released two new analyses showing that ending family migration and eliminating the diversity visa program would eviscerate immigration from Latin America, Africa, and Asia to the United States—and would go against the core of American immigration policy and priorities in place for more than a century.

As Congress this week considers solutions to our nation’s immigration system, and a permanent fix for Dreamers, it will be presented with suggestions to slash family migration and to eliminate the diversity visa program. Both policy cuts are included in the Secure and Succeed Act led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and in an immigration framework released by the White House last month to make substantial cuts to future immigration.

  • In “Family Reunification Is the Bedrock of U.S. Immigration Policy,” CAP’s Philip E. Wolgin, managing director of Immigration Policy, outlines how family reunification has been at the core of American immigration policy for more than a century. Even from the earliest restrictions on immigration, Congress explicitly recognized the importance of keeping families together and carved out a place for them. While conservative members of Congress in 1965 did—erroneously—believe that weighting immigration policy toward family unity above all else would preserve a largely white and European immigration flow, appeals to keep families together instead became the dominant way to challenge racially exclusionary immigration policy and to create a more egalitarian immigration system.

“Understanding our long American history of protecting family unity illustrates just how far out of the mainstream the Trump administration’s attacks on family-based immigration are,” Wolgin said.

CAP’s immigration experts are available to speak on the immigration floor vote in Congress this week, as well as on the two new columns.

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For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Elena Gaona at or 202.478.6322.