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The Diversity Visa Lottery Is A Dangerous Gamble

- February 1, 2018

The Diversity Visa Lottery Program Puts America's National Security Interests At Stake For The Sake Of Diversity


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is considered to be "an easier path to permanent residency," admitting 50,000 immigrants annually with no special skills required or connections to the United States needed for application.
  • The program contains significant risks to national security because it draws and grants permanent residency to people with minimal ties to the U.S. from countries where terrorism is active.
  • In multiple instances, winners of the Diversity Visa lottery from certain countries have committed terrorist acts once in the U.S.
    • In 2002, diversity visa lottery winner Hesham Mohamed Ali Hedayet shot and killed two people at Los Angeles International Airport.
    • In 2017, diversity visa lottery winner Sayfullo Saipov plowed a pickup truck into a crowd of pedestrians and cyclists, killing eight people and injuring at least eleven others.
  • A 2003 report by the State Department Office of the Inspector General found the diversity visa lottery system was "subject to widespread abuse," and a 2007 report by the Government Accountability Office found the program was "vulnerable to fraudulent activity."
  • The program has been described as a diversion of time and resources for the State Department.
  • The program has brought in tens of thousands of low-skilled immigrants every year, at a time when half of all immigrant-headed households receive benefits from at least one welfare program.
  • Lottery winners with little education, job skills, and work experience become immediately eligible to stay in the U.S. permanently, while millions of American citizens and legal residents must wait years for their family members to be allowed to join them.
  • The program has faced criticism from scholars, and is opposed by 60 percent of Americans.
    • Peter H. Schuck, an Emeritus Law Professor at Yale, has said the program "makes no sense" and called the diversity argument "fictitious."
    • Steve Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School said, "a lottery is a crazy way to run an immigration system."
  • In 2013, all 52 Senate Democrats voted to pass the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which would have ended the diversity visa lottery.

THE DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY PROGRAM IS KNOWN AS "THE EASIER PATH TO PERMANENT RESIDENCY IN THE UNITED STATES"

The Diversity Visa Lottery Admits 50,000 Immigrants With No Required Skills, Need For Asylum, Or Connections To The U.S. Into The Country Every Year

The Diversity Visa Lottery "Offers 50,000 Visas Each Year To Immigrants From Parts Of The World With Relatively Low Immigration Rates Over The Previous Five Years." "Under the program, the State Department offers 50,000 visas each year to immigrants from parts of the world with relatively low immigration rates over the previous five years." (Derek Hawkins, Samantha Schmidt and J. Freedom du Lac, "'A Chuck Schumer Beauty': Trump Calls For End To Diversity Visa Program," The Washington Post , 11/1/17)

No Special Skills Are Required To Obtain A Diversity Visa, And A High School Diploma Is Sufficient Educational Attainment For Applicants. "No special skills are required. A high-school diploma suffices." (Miriam Jordan, "Diversity Visa Lottery: Inside The Program That Admitted A Terror Suspect," The New York Times , 11/1/17)

Because The Program Only Requires An Applicant To Be A Citizen Of An Eligible Country And To Have A High School Diploma, "Some People To Believe It Targets Low-Skilled Workers." "The requirements for the lottery are basic and start with applicants being citizens of an eligible country. The program doesn't require a college education, so some people may also believe it targets low-skilled workers. Overall, the program has become synonymous with an easier path toward obtaining permanent residency in America." (Sintia Radu, "The American Dream Roulette," U.S. News And World Report , 11/10/17)

The Program Accepts Applications From "Slightly Different Lists Of Countries" Every Year, "Depending On Their Immigration Levels." "The program's eligibility requirements vary from year to year, accepting applications from slightly different lists of countries depending on their immigration levels." (Michelle Mark, "Trump Is Assailing The Diversity Visa Lottery After The NYC Terror Attack - Here's What It Is," Business Insider , 11/1/17)

THE DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY PROGRAM HAS BEEN A NATIONAL SECURITY VULNERABILITY FOR THE UNITED STATES

The Diversity Visa Lottery Program Contains Significant Security Risks, Making It "Ideal For Terrorists"

At A 2002 Congressional Hearing, Steven Camarota Of The Center For Immigration Studies (CIS) Testified That The Visa Lottery Is "Attractive" For Terrorists. CIS' STEVEN CAMAROTA: "The attractiveness of the lottery to al Qaeda terrorists is also shown by the fact that Hedayet is not the only terrorist to use it. Ahmed Hannan and Karim Koubriti, indicted on August 28th of this year as members of a terrorist sleeper cell in Michigan, came to this country in 2000 after winning the lottery in Morocco. They are accused of planning attacks both here and abroad against American interests." (Steven Camarota, Subcommittee On Immigration, Border Security, And Claims, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 10/9/02, p. 37)

  • Camarota Testified That One Of The Problems With The Lottery Is That People With No Ties To The U.S. "Are Willing And More Likely To Engage In Attacks On Our Country." CAMAROTA: "One of the problems with the lottery is that it gives green cards to people who have no strong ties to the United States, unlike family-based immigration. Certainly individuals with few ties to the United States are more willing and more likely to engage in attacks on our country." (Steven Camarota, Subcommittee On Immigration, Border Security, And Claims, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 10/9/02, p. 33)

In 2003, The Government Accountability Office (GAO) Stated That The Diversity Visa Program "Is Vulnerable To Fraud Committed By And Against DV [Diversity Visa] Applications." "In 2003 the GAO stated, 'The DV program is vulnerable to fraud committed by and against DV applications, but State has not compiled comprehensive data on detected and suspected fraudulent activity." ("Border Security: Fraud Risks Complicate State's Ability To Manage Diversity Visa Program," U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2007)

At A 2004 Hearing, Camarota Testified That The Lottery Is Ideal For Terrorists Because Winners "Come From Parts Of The World Where Fraud Is Common, Where Documents Are Difficult To Verify." CAMAROTA: "The lottery is so ideal for terrorists because it encourages immigration and applications from people with no existing tie to the United States, who come from parts of the world where fraud is common, where documents are difficult to verify and, most importantly, al-Qaeda is very active." (Steven Camarota, Subcommittee On Immigration, Border Security, And Claims, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 4/29/04, p. 32)

  • A Lottery Winner Is Allowed To Stay In The U.S. Indefinitely, Giving A Potential Terrorist "The Time They May Need To Plan A Sophisticated Plots." CAMAROTA: "A green card lets a person stay in the country indefinitely and this gives terrorists the time they may need to plan a sophisticated plot." (Steven Camarota, Subcommittee On Immigration, Border Security, And Claims, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 4/29/04, p.32)

At A 2005 Congressional Hearing, Mark Krikorian Of CIS Testified That The Program "Disproportionately Draws People From The Islamic World" Adding That "There Are Actual Terrorists Who Have Come In." CIS' MARK KRIKORIAN: "Nor does it draw people randomly from around the world. It disproportionately draws people from the Islamic world, the very countries where al-Qaeda is active. And I have some statistics on that in my statement. This is not theoretical. As you said, Mr. Chairman, there are actual terrorists who have come in through the lottery program." (Mark Krikorian, Subcommittee On Immigration, Border Security, And Claims, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 6/15/05, p. 37)

Terrorists Have Repeatedly Exploited The Visa Lottery Program Throughout Its History And Immigrants From These Countries Continue To Be Admitted Through The Visa Lottery

The Program Is "Open To Countries That Are Known State-Sponsors Of Terrorism." "The first concern raised by critics is that the program is open to countries that are known state-sponsors of terrorism, such as Pakistan." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p.77, 2013)

  • There Have Been "Known Cases Of Immigrants With Connections To Terrorism Gaining Permanent Residency In The United States Through The DV Program." "Furthermore, critics cite to known cases of immigrants with connections to terrorism gaining permanent residency in the United States through the DV program. (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p.77, 2013)

In 2004, The Deputy Inspector General For The Department Of The State Found That The Diversity Lottery Program "Contains Significant Vulnerabilities To Security." "In 2004, the Deputy Inspector General for the Department of State acknowledged that the DV program "contains significant vulnerabilities to security as hostile intelligence officers, criminals, and terrorists attempt to use it to enter the United States as permanent residents." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p. 77-78, 2013)

In 2017, Visa Lottery Winner Sayfullo Saipov, "Plowed A Rented Pickup Truck Into A Crowd Of Pedestrians And Cyclists," Killing Eight People And Injuring At Least Eleven Others. "Eight people were killed and at least were 11 injured on Tuesday, after the suspect plowed a rented pickup truck into a crowd of pedestrians and cyclists in lower Manhattan. The suspect was shot in the abdomen by a police officer, arrested, and identified as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbeki national who entered the United States in 2010. The Deparment of Homeland Security confirmed on Wednesday that Saipov received his visa to the US through the diversity lottery, the Associated Press reported." (Michelle Mark, "Trump Is Assailing The Diversity Visa Lottery After The NYC Terror Attack - Here's What It Is," Business Insider , 11/1/17)

In 2015, Uzbek Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev Pleaded Guilty To Conspiring To Provide Material Support To ISIS. "Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, an Uzbek citizen, in 2015 pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist organization ISIS, the New York Times reported in August 2015. Juraboev 'had talked of violence on behalf of the Islamic State, like planting a bomb in Coney Island and attacking President (Barack) Obama,' the Times reported." (Miriam Valverde, "Is The Diversity Visa Program A Tool For Terrorists?" Politifact, 11/1/17)

  • Juraboev Entered The United States Through A Diversity Visa. "Syed Harris Ahmed from Pakistan and Abdurasul Juraboev from Uzbekistan entered with diversity visas and were also convicted of planning terrorist attacks on U.S. soil." (Alex Nowrasteh, "Guide To The Diversity Visa: Demographics, Criminality, And Terrorism Risk," Cato Institute , 11/2/17)

In 2009, Syed Harris Ahmed, A Successful Applicant In The Diversity Visa Lottery, Was Convicted Of "Plotting To Aid A Terrorist Group." "Cato also identifies 'Syed Harris Ahmed' as a Pakistani national and successful applicant in the visa lottery who went on to be 'convicted of planning terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.' This is an apparent reference to 'Syed Haris Ahmed', who was a 24-year-old student at Georgia Tech when he was convicted 'of plotting to aid a terrorist group by videotaping landmarks around Washington DC' in June 2009, according to the Guardian." (Andrew R. Arthur, "Another Uzbek Visa Lottery Terrorist?" Center For Immigration Studies , 11/3/17)

In 2003, "Michigan Sleeper Cell Member" Karim Koubriti, A Diversity Visa Lottery Winner From Morocco, Was Convicted On "Terrorism-Related Charges." "Michigan sleeper cell member Karim Koubriti, convicted this summer on terrorism-related charges, was a lottery winner from Morocco, as was Ahmed Hannan, who was acquitted of terrorism charges in the same trial but convicted of document fraud." (Andrew R. Arthur, "Another Terrorist Exploits The Diversity Visa Lottery," Center For Immigration Studies , 11/1/17)

In 2002, Imran Mandhai, Who Entered The U.S. Through The Visa Lottery Program, "Pleaded Guilty To Conspiring To Wage Jihad By Plotting To Destroy Electrical Power Stations, The Israeli Consulate, And Other South Florida Targets." "Additionally, in August 2002 Pakistan national Imran Mandhai pleaded guilty to conspiring to wage jihad by plotting to destroy electrical power stations, the Israeli consulate, and other South Florida targets. He entered the United States with his parents, who had won the visa lottery, in 1998." (Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Opinion Contributor, "Visa Lottery Program Is Too Much Of A Gamble For Our Nation And Needs To End," The Hill , 11/16/17)

In 2002, Visa Lottery Winner, Hesham Mohamed Ali Hedayet, "Shot And Killed Two People At Los Angeles International Airport." "In 2002 Hesham Mohamed Ali Hedayet, a visa lottery recipient from Egypt, shot and killed two people at Los Angeles International Airport." (Brian Lonergan, Opinion Contributor, "America Has Seen Enough Tragedies Result From Its Open Borders," The Hill , 11/14/17)

The Diversity Visa Lottery Has Been Vulnerable To Rampant Fraud

The Diversity Lottery Program Is "Susceptible To Fraud And Harms The Credibility Of Our Immigration System." "One procedural criticism of the DV program is that it is susceptible to fraud and harms the credibility of our immigration system." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p. 76, 2013)

"It Is Typical For Applicants To Submit More Than One Entry," Increasing An Applicant's Chance Of Selection In The Lottery. " For instance, despite the State Department's requirement that each applicant may only submit one entry to the lottery program, critics claim that it is typical for applicants to submit more than one entry. By submitting multiple entries, sometimes under false aliases, prospective immigrants seek to increase their chance of selection in the lottery." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p. 76, 2013)

  • "One Year An Applicant Submitted More Than 2,000 Entries." "The program has been marred by fraud. One year an applicant submitted more than 2,000 entries." (Miriam Jordan, "Diversity Visa Lottery: Inside The Program That Admitted A Terror Suspect," The New York Times , 11/1/17)

The Program "Is Also Susceptible To Fraudulent Activity On The Part Of Third Parties," With The Extortion OF Money From Unknowing Applicants Being "A Common Thread." " In addition to fraud on the part of the applicants, the DV program is also susceptible to fraudulent activity on the part of third parties. Both the State Department and the Federal Trade Commission warn prospective diversity visa applicants about the existence of these scams. While diversity visa scams arise in a variety of forms, the common thread is the extortion of money from unknowing diversity visa applicants. Critics of the DV program claim that these third party scams are the result of the complicated lottery system, which is confusing for foreign applicants." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p. 76-77, 2013)

  • Some Winners Have Even "Sold Themselves For Marriage To Bring A Spouse To The United States." "Other winners have sold themselves for marriage to bring a spouse to the United States." (Miriam Jordan, "Diversity Visa Lottery: Inside The Program That Admitted A Terror Suspect," The New York Times , 11/1/17)

A 2003 Report By The State Department's Office Of The Inspector General (OIG) Found The Program Was "Subject To Widespread Abuse." "A 2003 report by the State Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found the visa lottery system is subject to widespread abuse." (Fact Sheet, "Facing the Facts About Our Broken Immigration System," The White House , 1/30/18)

"A 2007 Report By The Government Accountability Office (GAO) Found The Program Was Vulnerable To Fraudulent Activity." "A 2007 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the program was vulnerable to fraudulent activity." (Fact Sheet, "Facing the Facts About Our Broken Immigration System," The White House , 1/30/18)

The Diversity Visa Lottery Has Depleted Resources From The State Department

"The Department Of State Is Responsible For Issuing 50,000 Diversity Visas Each Year As Prescribed By Congress." "The Department of State is responsible for issuing 50,000 diversity visas each year as prescribed by Congress." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p.70, 2013)

  • The First Stage Of The Diversity Visa Process Is To Ensure That Diversity Visas Are Issued To Eligible Applicants Randomly. "The first stage of the diversity visa process is referred to as the diversity visa "lottery," which is a procedure used to ensure that diversity visas are issued to eligible applicants randomly." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p.70, 2013)
  • The State Department Then Assigns A Random Number To Each Applicant, Reorders The Petitions Based On Tank, And Selects A Number Of Petitions For Approval From Each Designated Region. "Computer software utilized by the State Department assigns a random number to each petition submitted and then reorders the petitions based on rank. The State Department is then responsible for selecting a number of petitions for approval from each of the designated regions." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p.70, 2013)
  • "The Chosen Participants, Or The 'Winners' Of The Diversity Visa Lottery, Earn The Right To File For A Diversity Visa." "The chosen participants, or the "winners" of the diversity visa lottery, earn the right to file for a diversity visa." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p.71, 2013)

In 2015, The State Department Had To Screen 14.4 Million Individuals Who Successfully Registered For The Annual Drawing, Which Was "No Simple Task." In 2015, 14.4 million individuals plus family members successfully registered for the annual drawing. The State Department has to weed out those who do not qualify. After a computer randomly selects 100,000 names, State Department employees interview and vet the finalists, whittling down the list to the 50,000 cap. This is no simple task, since most applicants come from countries where recordkeeping is spotty and documents are hard to verify." (Steven A. Camarota, Op-Ed. "Trump's Right. End The Diversity Visa Lottery," Los Angeles Times , 11/2/17)

The Program Has Been Described As "A Diversion Of Time And Resources From People Who Are Supposed To Be Attempting To Screen Terrorists." KRIKORIAN: "First of all, it is a diversion for the State Department, a diversion of time and resources from people who are supposed to be attempting to screen terrorists and others out of those who are trying to come to the United States." (Mark Krikorian, Subcommittee On Immigration, Border Security, And Claims, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 6/15/05, p. 37)

"An Internal Audit Conducted By The State Department In The 1990s Characterized The Visa Lottery As A Costly Unfunded Mandate That Saps Personnel Resources." "An internal audit conducted by the State Department in the 1990s characterized the visa lottery as a costly unfunded mandate that saps personnel resources." (Mark Krikorian, Subcommittee On Immigration, Border Security, And Claims, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 6/15/05, p. 37)

IN ADDITION TO NATIONAL SECURITY RISKS, THE VISA LOTTERY PROGRAM HAS HURT AMERICAN WORKERS, PUT ADDITIONAL STRAIN ON WELFARE PROGRAMS, AND IS UNFAIR TO OTHER CLASSES OF IMMIGRANTS

Diversity Visa Lottery Program Has Brought In Tens Of Thousands Of Low-Skilled Immigrants Every Year, Many Who Have Had To Access America's Welfare Programs

"Diversity Visa Recipients Receive Their Visas Based On Geographic Location And Random Chance, And Therefore Do Not Have The Same 'Stake In Our Country's Success' As Family And Employment-Based Immigrants." "Recipients of diversity visas, on the other hand, often lack familial or employment ties to the United States. Instead, critics claim diversity visa recipients receive their visas based on geographic location and random chance, and therefore do not have the same "stake in our country's success" as family and employment-based immigrants." (Melissa Chapaska, "The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating The Diversity Lottery Program," p.69, 2013)

Wages For Low-Skilled Americans "Have Either Stagnated Or Declined" And "The Share Of Less-Educated Americans In The Labor Market Is At Or Near Historic Lows." "Moreover, real wages for Americans with this level of education have either stagnated or declined over the long term, and the share of less-educated Americans in the labor market is at or near historic lows." (Steven A. Camarota, Op-Ed. "Trump's Right. End The Diversity Visa Lottery," Los Angeles Times , 11/2/17)

"Half Of All Immigrant-Headed Households Receive Benefits From At Least One Welfare Program." "Half of all immigrant-headed households receive benefits from at least one welfare program." (Fact Sheet, "Facing the Facts About Our Broken Immigration System," The White House , 1/30/18)

In 2016, Only 23 Percent Of Visa Lottery Winners Claim To Be In A Management Or Professional Occupation, While The Rest Say They Are In Low-Skilled Jobs. ("Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), Department Of Homeland Security , Accessed 1/31/18)

​ 

Lottery Winners Obtain Permanent Residency Within Two Years, A Time Period Seen By Some As "Unfair"

The Diversity Program Is Known As "One Of The Fastest Paths To Legal Permanent Residency." "The lottery offers one of the fastest paths to legal permanent residency, often in less than two years." (Miriam Jordan, "Diversity Visa Lottery: Inside The Program That Admitted A Terror Suspect," The New York Times , 11/1/17)

Some Have Called The Program "Unfair" Because It "Enables People With No Connection To The United States To Enter More Easily Than Others." "Critics have long contended that the program poses security risks, brings in low-skilled immigrants and is unfair because it enables people with no connection to the United States to enter more easily than others." (Miriam Jordan, "Diversity Visa Lottery: Inside The Program That Admitted A Terror Suspect," The New York Times , 11/1/17)

Lottery Winners "Hit The Jackpot" While Millions Of American Citizens "Must Wait Years For Their Family Members To Be Allowed To Join Them." "Today, lottery winners with little education, job skills, English fluency and work experience can hit the jackpot and promptly come (or stay) here permanently, while millions of American citizens and legal residents must wait years for their family members to be allowed to join them, dividing families and motivating illegal immigration." (Peter H. Schuck, Op-Ed., "Why The 'Diversity Lottery' Needs To End," The New York Times , 11/2/17)

  • Even Citizens Must Wait 20 Years For Their Unmarried Children To Obtain A Visa. "Even citizens must now wait for sometimes 20 years for their unmarried children to get a visa." (Peter H. Schuck, "Why The 'Diversity Lottery' Needs To End," The New York Times , 11/2/17)

"The Same Challenge Faces Would-Be Immigrants Who Have Skills Needed Here But Can't Qualify For An Employer-Sponsored Visa." "The same challenge faces would-be immigrants who have skills needed here but can't qualify for an employer-sponsored visa." (Peter H. Schuck, Op-Ed., "Why The 'Diversity Lottery' Needs To End," The New York Times , 11/2/17)

The Diversity Visa Lottery System Has Faced Criticism From Both Scholars And Everyday Americans

Anna Law, Political-Science Professor At The City University Of New York's Brooklyn College, Called The Program "Straight-Up Pork-Barrel Politics." "Anna Law, a political-science professor at the City University of New York's Brooklyn College, said she would shed no tears if the raffle comes to an end. 'It was about straight-up pork-barrel politics,' she said of the lottery's pro-Irish origins. 'The start of it was very cynical.'" (Michael E. Miller, "Diversity Visa Lottery, Criticized After New York Terrorist Attack, Was Invented To Help The Irish," The Washington Post , 11/1/17)

  • Law Argued There Is No Need For The Program "Since Family- And Job-Related Immigration Now Provides "A Lot Of Diversity."" "Still, Law said she wouldn't be upset if the program were scrapped, since family- and job-related immigration now provides 'a lot of diversity.'" (Michael E. Miller, "Diversity Visa Lottery, Criticized After New York Terrorist Attack, Was Invented To Help The Irish," The Washington Post , 11/1/17)

Peter H. Schuck, An Emeritus Law Professor At Yale, Said The Program "Makes No Sense" And Called The Diversity Argument "Fictitious." "If you find this lottery a weird way to allocate 5 percent of our one million precious green cards, you're right. It makes no sense for the United States to randomly distribute these visas on the fictitious argument that the most diverse advanced nation in the world needs more diversity in its immigrant population. None of the few other countries that routinely admit immigrants uses a lottery." (Peter H. Schuck, Op-Ed., "Why The 'Diversity Lottery' Needs To End," The New York Times , 11/2/17)

Steve Yale-Loehr, Professor Of Immigration Law At Cornell Law School: "A Lottery Is A Crazy Way To Run An Immigration System." "'A lottery is a crazy way to run an immigration system,' said Steve Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School, adding, 'No other country selects immigrants based on a lottery.'" (Miriam Jordan, "Diversity Visa Lottery: Inside The Program That Admitted A Terror Suspect," The New York Times , 11/1/17)

  • Yale-Loehr Asked Why A Sibling Of A U.S. Citizen Should Wait 20 Years, While A Lottery Winner "Can Waltz Into The United States In One Or Two Years?" "'If I'm a U.S. citizen and I have a brother or sister in the Philippines that I want to sponsor for a green card, that brother or sister will have to wait over 20 years,' says Cornell Law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr. 'And why should they have to wait that long when someone else can waltz into the United States in one or two years under the diversity program?'" (Richard Gonzales, "How The Diversity Visa Lottery Works," NPR , 11/3/17)

A Reuters Poll Found Only 25 Percent Of Americans Support The Visa Lottery System, While 60 Percent Oppose It. "The poll, released on Thursday, found that only 25 percent of Americans support allowing immigrants to obtain U.S. green cards or permanent resident status through a lottery system, while 60 percent oppose it." (Yeganeh Torbati and Chris Kahn, "Most Americans Oppose Visa Lottery But Favor Other Openings For Immigrants: Reuters/Ipsos Poll," Reuters , 11/9/17)

IN THE PAST, SENATE DEMOCRATS HAVE SUPPORTED THE ELIMINATION OF THE DIVERSITY LOTTERY

In 2013, 52 Democrat And Two Independent Senators Supported A Bill That Eliminated The Visa Lottery In Favor Of Moving Towards A Merit-Based System

In 2013, All 52 Democrats Voted To Pass The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, And Immigration Modernization Act. (S. 744, Roll Call Vote #168 : Passed 68-32: R 14-32; D 52-0; I 1-0, 6/27/13)

The Provisions In The Act Were "Very Similar To Those Trump Is Now Pushing In His Broad Plan." "The provisions that were included in the legislation sponsored by Schumer, S.744 - Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, are very similar to those Trump is now pushing in his broad plan he will outline in tonight's State of the Union address." (Paul Bedard, "2013: All Senate Dems Voted To Build Border Fence, Kill Visa Lottery, End Chain Migration," Washington Examiner , 1/30/18)

  • The Bill Included Provisions That Ended The Visa Lottery. "The 2013 immigration bill approved by the Senate - with 14 Republicans joining the 54 Democrats - included provisions to end that lottery and to eliminate the ability of brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens to enter the country on family reunification visas." (David Nakamura and Ed O'Keefe, "'A Giant Symbol': In Fight Over Trump's Wall, Democrats Who Once Supported A Border Barrier Now Oppose It," The Washington Post , 1/6/18)
  • The Bill "Created A New Category Of "Merit-Based" Visas In Which Prospective Immigrants Were Awarded Points For Education Levels And Work Expertise." "That bill also created a new category of "merit-based" visas in which prospective immigrants were awarded points for education levels and work expertise - another concept Trump has championed." (David Nakamura and Ed O'Keefe, "'A Giant Symbol': In Fight Over Trump's Wall, Democrats Who Once Supported A Border Barrier Now Oppose It," The Washington Post , 1/6/18)

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