Congress reining in family-based visas in favor or work based visa.

It’s been a common practice for decades that when one immigrant family member gets residency, he or she petitions for other family members to join him. In fact, tens of thousands of these petitions are filed each year. But there are been a push to cap these petitions so that the demand for works visas may be expanded.

As one might expect, immigrant activists have not been pleased with the effort. Many resident immigrants come from cultures that rely on extended family bonds to create a stable foundation for building businesses and caring for elderly parents. Activists say that these support systems are integral for the “success” of many immigrants, and that there is no need for family visas to be sacrificed in the name of employment visas.

Under a bipartisan bill passed last year, residents would no longer be able to petition for adult relatives to be granted residency, though those who already have petitions in the pipeline will not be forced out of the process. The bill seems to be aimed at addressing a customary practice of granting residency to family members, who in turn petition for more family members, a practice called “chain migration.” The legislation would scale the program back considerably because legislators claim that they are merely trying to bring some balance to the system.

The bill will still allow for spouses and children to be granted green cards.