Removing Barriers to Legal Migration to Strengthen our Communities and Economy

Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety (Tuesday, March 15, 2022)

First, many members of the public mistakenly believe that our current laws permit anyone to immigrate legally to the United States as long as they don’t have a criminal background or other negative baggage and are willing to wait their turn in line. But as members of this subcommittee are well aware, our laws take the opposite approach. Being free of such disqualifying characteristics is not enough. To be admitted as a lawful permanent resident (LPR), a person must also affirmatively qualify under one of several specific categories created by Congress. The main categories are those seeking unification with specified family members who are U.S. citizens or LPRs, those whose occupational skills are needed by U.S. employers, those who hail from countries that in the past five years have sent relatively few immigrants to the United States, and refugees. A person who doesn’t fall within any of those four categories (or a handful of much smaller miscellaneous categories) cannot lawfully immigrate to the United States.
Second, the Immigration and Nationality Act contains more than 20 pages laying out the grounds on which otherwise qualified intending immigrants are ineligible. These inadmissibility grounds generally relate to criminality, national security, communicable diseases, likelihood of becoming a public charge, protection of the U.S. labor force, and the integrity of the immigration system itself.
Third, with some important exceptions, there are annual numerical limits on the admission of qualified immigrants. Those limits are of two kinds. There are annual numerical ceilings for eachcategory (and many subcategories) of immigrants – family immigration, employment immigration, etc. Within each of those categories, there are additional annual limits on how many immigrants may be admitted from a single country. In the past three decades Congress has enacted several laws concerned principally with immigration enforcement. Not since the Immigration Act of 1990, however, has Congress taken any major action to update our nation’s policies on legal immigration. In the intervening decades, much has changed, and there is now ample reason to revisit the system that governs the lawful admission of immigrants to the United States.

See video and read statements here>

Study: Historic federal housing discrimination led to millions of Black, Latino Americans breathing dirtier air today


The historic practice of federal housing discrimination, known as redlining, has led to millions more Black and Latino Americans breathing in dirtier air than White Americans over decades, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, found that redlining and other discriminatory policies have led to racially segregated communities that disproportionately exposed and continue to expose more Black and Latino Americans to nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter from vehicles and nearby industrial sources.


Alzheimer’s disease is the only illness where the person passes away twice

Latino caregivers say they’re facing more barriers

Sarah Rodriguez spends most of her day multitasking as she switches from watching her mother on remote cameras to talking on video and phone calls with doctors and aides to organize proper care for the 67-year-old. The 40-year-old’s life in Virginia has been like this ever since her mom was diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s two years ago.


Bloomington Refugee Support Network

Our mission is to serve, with our partnerships, the refugees (in Indianapolis and globally), as well as asylum seekers, Dreamers, and other immigrants in the Monroe County community, and nationally.
Towards that end, we:

  • EDUCATE THE PUBLIC on the needs of refugees and asylum seekers, locally and globally
  • RESEARCH AND DEVELOP RESOURCES for use by local and Indiana resettlement agencies, the refugees, asylum seekers, other immigrants, local NGO’s, and the volunteers
  • HELP CLIENTS OBTAIN THE RESOURCES THEY NEED (working with SVDP home visits; vouchers; interpreters, drivers, anthropologists, finding work, finding apartments, receiving needed goods in addition to food (such as furniture, household appliances, personal supplies, clothing, medical and mental health care, acclimation) We have 15 trained coordinators (2 assigned to each family) to assist with obtaining the resources; the Coordinators receive additional drivers, interpreters, etc. when needed; we provide funds for legal help, including related expenses (travel and accommodations to Indy and Chicago for court appearances, and application fees) and for other needs, on a case-by-case basis.
  • ADVOCATE for increased U.S. refugee resettlement, including Bloomington resettlement, for adequate funding for refugee resettlement, and for private sponsorship for resettlement, and for support of asylum seekers, Dreamers, and other immigrants.
  • FUNDRAISE for refugees and resettlement agencies, locally, in Indiana, and globally, and for local asylum seekers, Dreamers, and other immigrants.
  • RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS, INTEREST AND COMMITMENT for refugee resettlement and support for asylum seekers, Dreamers, and other immigrants.