The United States’ immigration system favors family reunification – even in the so-called employment-based categories. The family members of immigrant workers must use employment based green cards to enter the United States. Instead of a separate green card category for spouses and children, they get a green card that would otherwise go to a worker.
In 2013, 53 percent of all supposed employment-based green cards went to the family members of workers. The other 47 percent went to the workers themselves. Some of those family members are workers, but they should have a separate green card category or be exempted from the employment green card quota altogether.
Source: 2013 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, Author’s Calculations