Most US cit­i­zens op­pose visa lot­tery sys­tem for im­mi­grants, re­port says

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - International -

MOST Amer­i­cans op­pose the use of a lot­tery sys­tem for giv­ing im­mi­grants per­ma­nent U.S. res­i­dence, but a ma­jor­ity sup­port al­low­ing im­mi­grants to ob­tain green cards through spon­sor­ship by U.S. em­ploy­ers, ac­cord­ing to a Reuters/Ip­sos opinion poll.

The poll, re­leased on Thurs­day, found that only 25 per­cent of Amer­i­cans sup­port al­low­ing im­mi­grants to ob­tain U.S. green cards or per­ma­nent res­i­dent sta­tus through a lot­tery sys­tem, while 60 per­cent op­pose it.

The green card lot­tery, also called the “di­ver­sity visa” pro­gram, aims to di­ver­sify the U.S. im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion by al­lot­ting 50,000 im­mi­grant visas each year to cit­i­zens of coun­tries that do not send many peo­ple to the United States.

The pro­gram has long been crit­i­cized by immigration hard­lin­ers in Con­gress, and came un­der re­newed at­tack by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and some Repub­li­cans af­ter Say­fullo Saipov, an Uzbek na­tional who came to the United States on a di­ver­sity visa in 2010, was charged in an at­tack last week in New York City that killed eight peo­ple.

Pres­i­dent Trump has urged Con­gress to kill the di­ver­sity visa lot­tery, which has drawn fire for be­ing vul- ner­a­ble to fraud and for pos­ing na­tional se­cu­rity risks. A 2013 bi­par­ti­san ef­fort to re­form immigration would have done away with the pro­gram, but was killed by the Repub­li­can-led House.

The re­cip­i­ents of the visas are cho­sen ran­domly by lot­tery, though they have to go through stan­dard se­cu­rity checks be­fore they are granted per­mis­sion to en­ter the United States.

Seventy per­cent of all adults sup­port al­low­ing for­eign spouses of U.S. cit­i­zens to ob­tain green cards, and 61 per­cent sup­port al­low­ing im­mi­grants to ob­tain per­ma­nent res­i­dent sta­tus through their work for U.S. busi­nesses. Though 60 per­cent of all adults said they op­posed al­low­ing im­mi­grants to ob­tain green cards through a lot­tery, a smaller per­cent­age, just over half, said they would sup­port a pro­posal to end the pro­gram.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has tar­geted both le­gal and il­le­gal immigration. An April ex­ec­u­tive or­der by Trump called for re­form­ing the pro­gram award­ing H-1B visas for skilled work­ers, and the ad­min­is­tra­tion has chal­lenged ap­pli­ca­tions for the visas more of­ten than at nearly any point in the Obama era.

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