Diversity Visa Program

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Center For Immigration Studies

The Diversity Visa Lottery: An Immigration Program That Is Not In America’s Interest. District of Columbia: Center For Immigration Studies (CIS), November 2, 2017.

Washington, D.C. (November 2, 2017) – The Center for Immigration Studies published several articles detailing the Diversity Visa Lottery program’s history and relevant statistics following the attack by the Uzbek terror suspect in New York City. Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov is the fifth Diversity Visa Lottery recipient to be involved in terrorist acts in the United States.

Congress could have passed legislation to eliminate the visa program, stopping the exploitation of this national security vulnerability. Their concern is evident by the three hearings they held in less than three years – CIS testified at all three. The State Department inspector General in 2003 testified that “the Diversity Visa program contains significant risks to national security from hostile intelligence officers, criminals, and terrorists attempting to use the program for entry into the United States as permanent residents.” >But voices like Senators Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer have been avid supporters, arguing that the United States requires the visa to generate increased ethnic diversity. >View CIS articles on the Diversity Visa Lottery:

Another Terrorist Exploits the Diversity Visa Lottery: https://cis.org/Arthur/Another-Terrorist-Exploits-Diversity-Visa-Lottery
Can We Finally Get Rid of the Visa Lottery?: https://cis.org/Krikorian/Can-We-Finally-Get-Rid-Visa-Lottery
Uzbekistan and the Diversity Visa Lottery: https://cis.org/North/Uzbekistan-and-Diversity-Visa-Lottery
What We DON’T Know about Sayfullo Saipov: https://cis.org/Cadman/What-We-DONT-Know-about-Sayfullo-Saipov
VIDEO: Immigration Brief: The Diversity Visa Lottery: https://cis.org/Krikorian/Immigration-Brief-Diversity-Visa-Lottery

The security risk has grown over the years as the program admits a disproportionate share of immigrants from terrorist breeding grounds and has a high level of fraud. Of the top 10 source countries for Diversity Visa immigrants in FY 2016, four were on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) list of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs): Egypt (2,855 immigrants), Iran (2,788 immigrants), Uzbekistan (2,378 immigrants).

Legislation eliminating the Diversity Visa Lottery has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA). The RAISE Act (S.354) has a companion bill in the House, “Immigration in the National Interest Act” (H.R.3775), sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith.