Tens of thousands of would-be immigrants may be unable to move legally to the United States after the State Department said Friday that a computer glitch is forcing them to scrap the results of an annual worldwide lottery for U.S. visas.
More than 14 million applicants entered a lottery last fall for one of 50,000 visas distributed as part of the annual Diversity Visa Lottery, designed for people who would otherwise have little chance of legally entering the country. The program doesn’t require applicants to have a family or employer as a sponsor.
Each year the State Department selects about 90,000 applicants and trims the list to 50,000 through an extensive series of interviews, background checks and medical exams.
The lottery has been conducted by computer since its inception in 1994, according to State Department officials.
David Donahue, deputy assistant secretary of state for visa services, said the glitch discovered earlier this month prompted the computer program to unfairly select people who submitted applications in the first two days of the 30-day application process that ended Nov. 3.
“These results are not valid because they did not represent a fair, random selection of the entrants as required by U.S. law,” Donahue said ...
So, there are 280 applications for every visa and we select them randomly? And then hand out visas for, essentially, free?
Fortunately, the article provides the answer:
Congress established the lottery program to attract immigrants from countries with lower rates of immigration to the United States. Residents of countries with larger rates of U.S. immigration — including China, El Salvador, Haiti, India and Mexico — are not eligible for the program.
In fact, the government should also give each of the 900,000 winners over the last 18 years (plus their spouses, adult children, parents, and and their spouses' parents, adult children's spouses, parents' adult children, and the rest of their entourages, people of the caliber of Hesham Mohamad Hedayet) a free tour of Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
It's the least we can do.
Another thing we should do for those 900,000 is have the Bureau of Engraving print up $1,000,000 in cash for each one and give it to them in Gucci suitcases. C'mon, it's just like immigration: I mean, how much does the paper and ink cost? Not much, right? It's the same thing with American residency, right? We just printed up 900,000 green cards. How much could that have cost?