What is the diversity visa program?
President Trump is blasting and calling for the end of the diversity visa program after the deadly New York City terror. What is the diversity visa program, and who comes to the U.S. through?
Tuesday’s terrorist attack in New York City has shone a spotlight on an immigration program that critics claim, has no justification.
The program awards 50,000 green cards each year for immigrants randomly chosen from millions of applicants. The congress created in 1990 to encourage immigration from countries that traditionally have sent small numbers of people to the United States. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) written in the language of the making of the programme when he was a member of the House of Representatives.
The Diversity Visa Lottery Program is in the crosshairs for. The so-called Gang of Eight amnesty bill in 2013 would have been eliminated as part of a wider package. The Reform of the Us Immigration for a Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, this year to switch to a merit-based immigration system, it would also eliminate the program.
President Donald Trump called for his removal in a he released in the last month as part of an agreement to grant amnesty for illegal immigrants brought to America as children.
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Trump blasted the program on Twitter on Wednesday after reports that Sayfullo Saipov, accused of killing eight people and injuring 15 by driving a pick-up truck along a bike path in Lower Manhattan, came to the United States from his native Uzbekistan in 2010 by the diversity of the lottery.
“The terrorists came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want to be merit-based,” he tweeted.
Schumer, the Senate minority leader, responded on the Senate floor by knocking Trump for trying to cut off the federal funds to the City of New York and other so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions that do not fully cooperate with the immigration authorities.
“Instead of dividing, instead of politicizing, do something really, Mr. President,” he said. “Recovery of these funds. Now.”
The citizens of Uzbekistan was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the lottery program. The statistics from the Ministry indicate that 3,356 people from the former Soviet republic to receive visas through the program the year Saipov came in 2010. In fiscal year 2016, 2,378 Uzbeks won the lottery, making Uzbekistan the fifth highest of all countries.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2011, is placed Uzbekistan on a list of ” specially designated countries that have shown that there is a tendency to promote, produce or protect terrorist organizations or their members.” The other three countries on the list — Egypt, Iran and Sudan — ranked in the top seven countries with the greatest diversity lottery winners in fiscal year 2016.
“Clearly, there is a terrorism vulnerability angle for this program, which is more than other programs,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Krikorian noted that the diversity lottery is responsible for a disproportionate share of immigrants from various countries on the list. The program creates about 5 percent of all immigration but 58 percent of the migrants from Uzbekistan and Algeria came to the program in fiscal year 2015, ” he said. It was 26 per cent of the immigration from Turkey and 27 percent form the Sudan.
Krikorian pointed out on numerous reports of people using false documents in order to go through the diversity lottery.
“The lottery is even more susceptible to fraud than other immigration programs,” he said.
Chris Chmielenski, director of content and activism at NumbersUSA, said terrorism is just one concern.
“It’s broader than that,” he said. “We’re talking about a world power, and we just have a random lottery … It’s just ridiculous.”
Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), one of the sponsors of the RAISE Act, renewed calls on Wednesday for the passage.
“I hope that we, this area of common ground as we work to fix our broken immigration system and strengthen our national security,” he said in a statement.
The program requires applicants have a high school diploma or equivalent and submit to a background check, but other than that, Chmielenski said, there are a few snags. He said: there is no attention paid to the question of whether the lottery winners, bringing the skills or education that could improve the United States.
“It does not serve the national interest,” he said. “It does not help the economy. It doesn’t help the workers.”
Chmielenski noted that a commission headed by Barbara Jordan, a former Democratic congressman from Texas, named in the 1990s for the demolition of the program. He said NumbersUSA has also questioned about the matter.
“It has little support among the American population, especially among the voters,” he said.
But the Democratic politicians tend to be against the elimination of the program, unless it is tied to a broad amnesty.
“This is not a problem that is solved in a tweet, or my interview with you, now, now,” Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on Wednesday. “This is part of the comprehensive immigration reform.”
Krikorian said the program has its roots in the efforts of the Democratic members of Congress to protect illegal immigrants from Ireland who were not eligible for the 1986 amnesty passed by Congress. He said that the Congressional Black Caucus has fought to protect it, because the members see it is a way to promote more immigration from Africa.
“The whole concept is mosquito spray,” he said. “This program is made for identity-politics reasons, and it now remains for other identity-politics reasons.”