Comparing the Potential Plans for Family Based Immigration Reform

How does President Trump plan to change current family based immigration laws?

The deadline to keep the DREAMers lawfully within the country is here. Lawmakers are scrambling to develop an immigration reform plan that would allow a path to citizenship for those currently residing in the country illegally who were brought here as children. President Trump is calling for any immigration reform proposal to include a wall between the United States and Mexico. Currently, there are three potential proposed immigration reform plans, one coming from the Whitehouse, another dubbed the Graham-Durbin law, and the final reform known as the McCain-Coons Bill. We explore these proposed plans as they relate to family based immigration and compare them to existing laws below.

Our Current Family Based Immigration Policy

Our current family immigration policy allows for an unlimited number of citizen’s immediate relatives, including spouses, minor children, and parents, to come to the United States. The law additionally allocates a minimum of 226,000 visas for other relatives, including unmarried adult children, the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, and siblings.

The Graham-Durbin Proposal

The Graham-Durbin proposal was created by a bipartisan group of Senators. It would reform current family based immigration to allow lawful permanent residents to only sponsor their nuclear family members, including unmarried children under the age of 21. DREAMers specifically would not be permitted to sponsor the parents who brought them here illegally.

Trump’s Proposed Immigration Plan

Based on an outline released from the White House, President Trump would only allow citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their spouses and minor children. The administration is seeking to reduce family based immigration and increase immigration of skilled workers.

McCain-Coons Plan

The McCain-Coons plan, created by Sen. John McCain and Sen. Chris Coons, would not alter existing family based immigration laws. Rather, the law would give the DREAMers a path to citizenship and would increase border security.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at