Impact of Immigration Laws on Family Reunification: Narratives from Affected Families


    Martin Weiss Department of Social Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada
    Mohammadbagher Jafari * Department of Sociology of Culture, Istanbul, Türkiye | Department of Social Sciences, KMAN Research Institute, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada


Immigration laws, Family reunification, Emotional impact, Legal barriers, Economic consequences, Social integration, Qualitative research


The increasing complexity of immigration laws globally has profound effects on family reunification processes, often resulting in significant emotional, legal, economic, and social challenges for immigrants. This study aims to explore the impact of these laws on family reunification, specifically examining the personal narratives and experiences of affected families. The objective is to understand the multi-dimensional consequences of immigration policies on family dynamics and well-being. This qualitative study employed semi-structured interviews with 22 participants who have directly experienced the family reunification process under current immigration laws. Participants were selected through snowball sampling and outreach via immigrant advocacy groups, ensuring a diverse representation in terms of age, gender, and origin. Data collection aimed for theoretical saturation and was analyzed using NVivo software to identify themes related to the impacts of immigration laws on family reunification. Four main themes were identified: Emotional Impact, Legal and Administrative Barriers, Economic Consequences, and Social and Cultural Integration. Emotional impacts included stress, anxiety, loss, resilience, and effects on children. Legal and administrative barriers highlighted the complexity of legal processes, issues with accessibility of resources, and the implications of frequent policy changes. Economic consequences focused on financial strain, employment challenges, and housing instability. Social and cultural integration covered challenges related to cultural adaptation, community support, discrimination, stigma, and family dynamics. The study reveals that immigration laws intricately affect the emotional and psychological health, economic stability, and social integration of immigrant families. The findings underscore the need for policies that consider the profound human impacts of immigration laws, advocating for reforms that facilitate smoother and more humane family reunification processes.


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How to Cite

Weiss, M., & Jafari, M. (2024). Impact of Immigration Laws on Family Reunification: Narratives from Affected Families. Interdisciplinary Studies in Society, Law, and Politics, 3(2), 11-17.

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