People wait outside INS office to renew green cards, Chicago (file photo)
WASHINGTON -- Senators writing a comprehensive immigration bill may dramatically limit green cards for extended families of U.S. citizens and residents, limiting them to immediate families instead, a key lawmaker says.
It would be a significant change to U.S. immigration policy that's long favored family ties over economic or job criteria. And protests are likely from groups trying to protect family-based immigration, like the Catholic Church.
Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is part of a bipartisan Senate group negotiating the bill. He says the aim is to fundamentally change the immigration system so it has an economic focus.
He says green cards should be reserved for the nuclear family and that it shouldn't look like family court.