Top immigration official: Border crossings dropping

U.S. Border Patrol unveiled a new 500-person tent facility during a media tour Friday, June 28, 2019, in Yuma, Ariz. The facility will be used to process detained immigrant children and families who cross the U.S. border. The Border Patrol says it will start placing families there on Friday night. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The immigration debate has fired up again, as it has done for the past 30-plus years as Election Day nears. We are bombarded with information and misinformation daily.

Legal immigration: It would be helpful to have an article informing us about the number and types of visas with an explanation of each type. It would be helpful to know the quantity of people allowed into the country under each type.

Are the visas temporary or permanent? Who decides the number of people in each category and how frequently is this reviewed and updated.

Does Congress have oversight?

Editor's Note: There are two broad categories of visas: immigrant and non-immigrant with dozens of different types in each, according to the U.S. State Department. Visas are approved by the consular officer in the traveler’s home country but don’t guarantee U.S. admission. The Customs and Border Protection office, within Homeland Security, has the power to deny entry even with an approved visa. The CBP decides on length of stay and any extensions are approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Congress determines immigration law, including setting the per-country limit.

The waiting list for family visas is about 3.7 million people and another 121,000 are waiting for employer-sponsored visas, according to the National Visa Center in November.

Congress last made significant changes to immigration entry in 1965. No one country can have more than 7% of all green cards. Reforms since then focused on punitive measures for undocumented immigration.

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