Joe Guzzardi: No Harvard admissions lottery, why should U.S. have one for citizenship?

By Joe Guzzardi

Nothing can compensate for the eight New York murders Uzbek national Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov perpetrated or the pain and suffering the victims’ families will forever endure. But one positive shift has occurred. The foolish, pointless Diversity Visa, previously unknown to 99 percent of Americans, has been the focus of numerous print and broadcast news stories. Getting almost as much attention is the population-busting chain migration that the DV spawns.

Briefly summarized, the DV is an annual lottery that, in the name of diversity, brings 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. regardless of whether they can contribute meaningfully to America. The DV is an online program that involves little vetting.

To illustrate how misguided the DV is, think of other situations where lotteries might be used. Only in an alternative universe will you find them. Employers don’t hire, universities don’t enroll, and motor vehicle departments don’t hand out driver’s licenses based on a lottery’s results. Granting visas to random individuals that lead to a most-coveted reward – a green card and eventual U.S. citizenship – is peak insanity.

Beyond the fact that the U.S. is already the globe’s most diverse country with 43.7 million foreign-born residing here and 65 million speaking a language other than English at home, the DV allows the original visa holder to petition his family, and they in turn bring in their relatives, and on and on the chain goes. In general, the State Department knows next to nothing about DV arrivals or the relatives they ultimately petition. Nevertheless DVs get immediate employment authorization documents and access to social services.

The total number of people brought to the U.S. through the DV since its 1990 creation is imposing. More than 1.1 million original DV holders, the first completely randomly selected immigrants to arrive, have sponsored 3.8 million others. A Princeton University study found that between 1996 and 2000, the initiating immigrant sponsored about 3.5 relatives. After all the math is calculated, the DV generates many more immigrants than 50,000 per year. Because previous DV lottery winners sponsor their relatives year after year, chain migration means that the program actually accounts for as many as 165,000 new immigrants annually.

The DV’s haphazard format and its role as an immigration-driver should be enough to persuade Congress to end the visa immediately. But once the terrorism risk is factored in, then no intellectual argument can be made to keep the DV going.

Chillingly, just four days before the Uber driver Saipov went on his murderous rampage, another Uzbekistan national and DV winner, Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, who previously chopped lettuce in a gyro shop, received a 15-year federal court sentence after pleading guilty to providing material support to ISIS terrorists. Juraboev had posted an online threat to kill then-President Barack Obama and, if instructed, to bomb Coney Island.

Speaking at a recent Cabinet meeting, President Trump demanded an immediate end to the DV, and a prompt shift toward merit-based immigration. President Trump specifically endorses the RAISE Act that would end the DV, and reduce chain migration.

As President Trump said in his uniquely Trump fashion, “We don’t want lotteries where the wrong people are in the lotteries.”

 

Joe Guzzardi has written about immigration and the related social issues for more than 30 years. A native Californian, Joe taught English as a Second Language in the San Joaquin Valley for two decades. He is the National Media Director for CAPS. Follow him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

 

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