>> President Donald Trump is ramping up calls to stop legal immigrants from sponsoring family members to move to the US. Saying, so called, Chain Migration poses a threat to national security. But even without action from Congress, a Reuters review from federal data shows the number of immigrants approved for family visas dropped sharply last year.
Mica Rosenberg is reporting the story.>> Trump has called for Congress to act also called Chain Migration which allows an immigrants to bring over their extended family members to the US. He says, that this is a policy that should be replaced with the merit based immigration system. Those legislative system have not been made yet, but he has said that there's gonna be increased vetting across the board.
And some of that has, that it will slow down in the issuance of different kinds of visas.>> Approvals of family based visas, known as I-130s, dropped by nearly a quarter in the first nine months of 2017 compared to a year earlier. The director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS told Reuters no specific policy guidance has been put in place to change the way family based visas are issued.
But the agency said closer scrutiny could lead to longer processing times. Chain migration has long been a target of groups favoring more restrictions on who is allowed into the country. But their ideas failed to gain much traction at the highest levels of power before Trump took office. Now, supporters of making legal immigration more selective occupy key positions in the administration.
Including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his long-time aide, Steven Miller. Trump has cited last month's botched bombing of the New York City subway system and a Halloween night truck attack that killed eight people in his push to tighten illegal immigration.>> There have now being two terrorist attacks in New York City in recent weeks carried out by foreign nationals.
The first attacker came through the visa lottery and the second through chain migration, we're gonna end both of them.>> Immigration advocates counter that no one automatically qualifies for a family visa. Saying all immigrants undergo rigorous security vetting.