Abolish Our Stupid “Diversity Visa Lottery”

As Appeared in the Jan. 2012 Middle American News

In 2011 a record 15 million people from across the planet submitted entries to one of the dumbest projects the United States has ever implemented: the State Department’s so-called “Diversity Visa Lottery.”

Every year a federal government computer selects 100,000 entries for green card processing from residents of countries with low immigration to the U.S. After that, 50,000 permanent U.S. residency visas are granted at random. No work skills or background checks are required and people from countries that are state sponsors of terrorism are not excluded.

Why must we continue to engage in this insanity?

Our country has long placed great value on the contributions of those who came here from foreign lands. But after more than two centuries of welcome, it is past time to reexamine just how wide open our arms can be in a nation crowded with more than 300 million people. So it is especially time to reexamine this program.

Amazingly, included in the visa lottery are countries engaging in terrorism— ranging from Iran and Sudan to Cuba and Syria. The visa lottery is a national security threat. Usually visas are issued to foreign nationals who have an existing connection to a family member lawfully residing in the U.S. or with a U.S. employer. Visa lottery winners simply get to reside here by luck! Indeed, many foreign countries openly advertise in their media about entering the lottery.

There’s also another important another consideration. Unless immigration numbers are cut significantly, America’s population is expected to top 400 million by 2050.Today’s nearly unrestrained immigration policy adds more than one million legal immigrants every year. Another 700,000-plus sneak in illegally every year. These waves of immigrants are the primary reason that the U.S. population is growing dramatically, and they are putting an immense strain on natural resources at a time when many communities are struggling with everything from clean water to urban sprawl.

As long as we continue to throw our borders open to over a million newcomers a year, many locales will be threatened with insoluble problems brought on by simply too many people. And our outdated immigration laws open our borders in so many ways: from allowing “chain immigrants” (admitted simply because they have relatives here), to the 50,000 people who are foolishly granted resident status through the “diversity” lottery.

It’s time for Congress to abolish the visa lottery, and U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is to be commended for introducing legislation every year in recent years to do just that. Passing it should be the first of many common sense steps the Congress should take in 2012 to return a sense of reasonable proportion to immigration.

The Goodlatte bill doesn’t eliminate visas altogether; nor should it. But the nation needs to forgo the mass immigration policies of recent years and return to lower traditional admission levels. This better reflects the reality of a developed nation that is straining its environment with unchecked growth.

# # #