Current "chain migration" policies would allow an estimated 2 million immigrants to move to the United States in addition to the 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients if Congress legalizes the expiring program.
"If Congress were to pass an amnesty for people with DACA, it would ultimately result in 2 million new immigrants over time," Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, told reporters in a Thursday panel discussion in Washington, D.C.
Vaughan said for every one legal immigrant admitted to the U.S., 3.45 family members are later given permission to legally migrate.
"For every two immigrants we admit, you can say there will be an additional seven admitted. That growth is built into our immigration system," Vaughan explained.
Current immigration policy allows green card recipients to sponsor parents and siblings for the same card.
In the case of DACA, in which children who were brought to the country illegally during a certain period can receive work permits and legal protections, their parents are hiding in the shadows and would likely be the first people green card recipients would sponsor if a law passed Congress, Vaughan said.