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15 Million Apply for Visa Lottery

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a record 15 million people applied this year for the visa lottery – a program that hands out 50,000 green cards per year based on chance. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R –Va.), the author of a bill to terminate the visa lottery, says the program threatens national security, results in the unfair administration of our immigration laws, and encourages a cottage industry for fraudulent opportunists. 

Most visas are issued to foreign nationals who have existing relationships with lawful U.S. residents or employers. However, the visa lottery awards permanent resident visas based on pure luck. This leaves open the door to those who want to enter the United States to harm our citizens.

For example, the gunman who killed two people at the Los Angeles International Airport on July 4, 2002 was allowed to legally reside in the United States because his wife won the visa lottery. Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, reportedly applied for the lottery at least once but did not obtain one.

The visa lottery also is unfair to law-abiding immigrants. Family-sponsored immigrants currently face waits of years to be reunited with their families. Each year, the visa lottery program pushes 50,000 random immigrants ahead of these family-sponsored immigrants waiting to be reunited with their families.

Also, the visa lottery program is wrought with fraud. A Center for Immigration Studies report states that foreign nationals commonly apply for the lottery program multiple times under many different aliases. In addition, the visa lottery program has spawned a cottage industry featuring sponsors in the U.S. who falsely promise success to applicants for a large “fee.”

"More and more people are learning about this program and are dumbfounded that we have it in the first place," said Rep. Goodlatte. "Our chances have never been better to kill it."

The record 15 million applicants this year is about 25 percent above last year’s total and 2.5 times greater than five years ago.

For more information, read the Wall Street Journal article and Rep. Goodlatte’s related web page.

In the News

The Outsider

Quoted - Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Any time you give an amnesty for people who have broken the law, that gives an incentive for more people to break the law," says Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, an Arlington group that lobbies to reduce immigration. Yet Beck acknowledges that he feels torn about Juan, who arrived at such a young age, saying that "on an individual basis, this sounds like the kind of person who you want to have some sort of leeway for." Where, then, does Juan belong?

By Phuong Ly -- Washington Post


165,000 Russians Sought U.S. Green Card

In the News - Thursday, September 29, 2011

More than 165,000 Russians participated in the United States' 2013 green-card lottery and 2,353 won, RIA-Novosti reported, citing U.S. State Department official David Donahue.

The Moscow Times


Immigration Lotto Lunacy

In the News - Thursday, March 3, 2011

If you did just one thing to start fixing our visa system, a good choice would be getting rid of the visa lottery. Now, both the Senate and the House have bills to do just that.

Since 1990, when liberals created the lottery, the United States has given away 55,000 permanent residency visas each year. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) and Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R.-Va.) have each proposed legislation that would do away with this needless visa program.

By James R. Edwards, Jr. -- Human Events


Thousands From Terror-Sponsoring Nations Entering U.S. on 'Diversity Visas'

In the News - Friday, January 8, 2010

In the wake of the botched Christmas Day terror attack, members of Congress are worried that extremists could use the State Department's diversity visa lottery as a means of getting to the U.S.

The State Department is planning to welcome thousands of immigrants from terror-watch list countries into the United States this year through a "diversity visa" lottery -- a giant legal loophole some lawmakers say is a "serious national security threat" that has gone unchecked for years.

By Joseph Abrams -- Fox News Channel


Naturalized citizens are poised to reshape California's political landscape

In the News - Monday, May 11, 2009

More than 1 million immigrants became U.S. citizens last year, the largest surge in history, hastening the ethnic transformation of California's political landscape with more Latinos and Asians now eligible to vote.

Leading the wave, California's 300,000 new citizens accounted for nearly one-third of the nation's total and represented a near-doubling over 2006, according to a recent report by the U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics. Florida recorded the second-largest group of new citizens, and Texas claimed the fastest growth.

By Teresa Watanabe -- Los Angeles Times


DHS Designates Malta as a Visa Waiver Program Country

In the News - Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will designate Malta as a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country on Dec. 30, 2009. Maltese nationals will be able to travel visa-free to the United States effective Dec. 30th.

DHS Press Release