Millions Hope to Win What Could Be the Last U.S. Green-card Lottery

The days of the U.S. green-card lottery program, which has been around for 30-years, may be numbered as it appears to conflict with Trump’s immigration policy. (The Washington Post)

The Washington Post

On Tuesday, more than 14 million people around the world, including anxious applicants in the Washington area, will begin checking computers and smartphones in one of the strangest rituals of the U.S. immigration system. When the clock strikes noon in the nation’s capital, they will be able to visit a State Department website, enter their names, years of birth and 16-digit identification numbers. Then they will press “submit” to learn whether they have won one of the world’s most coveted contests: the U.S. green-card lottery.

Each year, the Diversity Visa Lottery, as it is officially known, provides up to 50,000 randomly selected foreigners — fewer than 1 percent of those who enter the drawing — with permanent residency in the United States.

The current lottery coincides with an intense debate over immigration and comes amid policy changes that have made the country less welcoming to new arrivals. President Trump has cracked down on illegal immigration and pressed forward with plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico. He has issued executive orders targeting foreign workers, refugees and travelers from certain majority-Muslim countries.

But he hasn’t said a word about the green-card lottery.

Its days may be numbered, nonetheless. The lottery appears to conflict with the president’s call for a “merit-based” immigration system. And at least two bills in the Republican-controlled Congress seek to eliminate the program.

Read more at the Washington Post »


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