Rep. Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceAtlanta Democrat announces bid for Georgia secretary of state Loeffler asks Georgia attorney general to investigate Raffensperger over 2020 election Heated argument erupts after Rep. Mondaire Jones calls GOP objections to DC statehood 'racist trash' MORE (R-Ga.) has introduced legislation to limit the number of immigrants granted legal status due to family connections.

Under current law, U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents can sponsor adult relatives who aren't part of their nuclear family.

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Hice's bill would eliminate parents from the definition of "immediate relatives" that can be sponsored and replace it with a renewable visa category for parents of U.S. citizens. Only spouses and children of legal permanent residents or citizens would be immediately eligible for receiving legal status.

Hice, a freshman lawmaker, said the measure would limit "abuse" of the process allowing immigrants to enter the U.S. legally.

"In the spirit of the American dream, this legislation does not hinder the efforts of legal immigrants to reunite with their immediate families in America, but instead rather prevents abuse of our overwhelmed immigration system," Hice said in a statement.

Former Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) introduced similar legislation in the last Congress.