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Immigration law changes may move toward merit-based system

Immigration is an important facet in the lives of many people, including many in Louisiana. They likely came to the United States in hopes of obtaining better lives for themselves and for their children than they faced in their countries of origin. However, due to immigration law changes, they may now fear that their new lives will be substantially disrupted, especially if they face deportation.

It was recently reported that changes could come to the immigration system and what attributes that system considers top priorities. For instance, many aspects of immigration law have been contingent on keeping families together, but now, the current administration is considering moving away from family reunification and toward considering individuals on their personal qualities. This type of arrangement is sometimes referred to as a merit-based system.

It may prove difficult, however, to determine what counts as merit. It has been suggested that individuals who have a high education, can speak English and financially support themselves may have merit that could allow them to pursue a path to citizenship, especially when discussing individuals who were brought to the United States as children. Of course, there are many immigrants in lower-earning jobs that may not meet these particular standards of merit but could perhaps have other qualities. As a result, many individuals have questions regarding this type of arrangement.

Because immigration law can be complicated to understand and the current potential changes difficult to follow, many individuals living in Louisiana may feel concerned about their living arrangements. If they feel that they may be at risk of deportation or other negative impacts to their lives or families, they may wish to gain more information. Enlisting the assistance of knowledgeable attorneys could allow concerned parties to gain insight into their options.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, "In immigration debate, what constitutes 'merit'?", Francine Kiefer and Henry Gass, Jan. 30, 2018

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