To the editor:

Most of our country’s residents have minimal knowledge of how our immigration system functions.

It is a very complicated system with an annual worldwide limit of just 675,000 permanent immigrants admitted to our country.

There are several different reasons how an individual may be accepted; they are based on family, employment and refugee status.

Under family-based access, a person who is the spouse, minor child or the parent of U.S. citizen can be allowed in under the immediate-relative section of the law.

Adult children, siblings of a U.S. citizen, spouses and unmarried children of legal permanent residents can be admitted under the family-preference system of the law.

The persons admitted under this section of the code cannot be under 226,000 or not over 480,000 individuals yearly, and these numbers can be changed by presidential and congressional approval.

Employment-based immigrants have been issued either temporary or permanent visas.

The temporary visa permits U.S. employers to hire foreign nationals for a specific job for a limited period, i.e., farm workers.

A permanent visa is issued to persons of extraordinary ability, college and advanced degree professionals, experience skilled workers, religious workers and foreign U.S. government workers.

They can reside in this country indefinitely.

Refugee status is complicated and the most abused of our immigration system.

A refugee is defined as a person fleeing persecution or unable to return to their homeland due to life-threatening or extraordinary conditions.

There must be a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, specific group membership, political opinion, religion or national origin.

This is the most difficult to prove, and since 2016, our nation’s refugee ceiling is 85,000, with only 3,000 allowed admissions from Latin America.

All these legal immigrants are given “Green Cards” and can qualify for U.S. citizenship after 5 years, provided they are 18 years old and of good moral character.

They also must pass an English test, a U.S. history test and civics exam.

Immigrants without a green card are illegal and must not be given a driver’s license, a Social Security card, nor legally work in this country.

Since the start of this year, almost three-quarters of a million people have entered this country illegally.

There are now more than 26 million illegal immigrants in this country burdening our welfare system, since they cannot legally work here.

Tom Fairchild

7260 Hwy. 140W

Puryear

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