In Bloomberg News (!), Princeton sociologist Marta Tienda [Email her] highlights a huge financial problem with family reunification/chain migration. In the interests of blogging quickly, I'll give you just two paragraphs:
The proposed immigration overhaul addresses only part of the problem by imposing an age cap of 30 on married children of U.S citizens. But the legislation doesn’t change the rules for sponsoring parents.
My research shows that every 100 legal immigrants from Asia admitted from 1996 to 2000 sponsored almost 400 relatives by 2009, of whom one-quarter were age 50 or older. The vast majority of immigrant seniors are parents of naturalized citizens. If visas for these people aren’t restricted, then Congress should strengthen enforcement-of-support requirements for sponsored parents by enforcing those requirements currently on the books. [Fix Immigration Bill to Reduce Health-Care Costs - Bloomberg, April 21, 2013]
Tienda's piece is well researched—because she's a professor, not a journalist—and has a useful number of links and figures.
I will say that this is something we have been pointing out for years:
When she says that "Congress should strengthen enforcement-of-support requirements for sponsored parents by enforcing those requirements currently on the books" she's running up against the Executive Branch problem.
It doesn't help to pass laws if a corrupt Executive refuses to enforce them. We've seen this blatantly with Obama's Administrative Amnesty, but it was also visible under Bush, with workplace enforcement vanishing until near the end of Bush's second term.
In a 2001 VDARE.com article called Whatever Happened To Deporting Immigrants As a Public Charge?, James R. Edwards pointed out that
The good news: the damage has been mostly done by Executive Branch action. It could be undone, perhaps with the stroke of a pen-by a resolute and patriotic President.
We're still waiting.