An immigrant scheme that makes no sense
“Not even Donald Trump can be wrong all the time,” says David Frum. His plan to scrap the Diversity Immigrant Visa Programme – the procedure under which the perpetrator of last week’s New York terrorist attack entered the US, from his native Uzbekistan – makes sense. The programme is a lottery that randomly allocates 50,000 visas each year to people from countries that don’t already send lots of immigrants to the US. It was conceived in the late 1980s, largely to benefit Irish immigrants, whom some thought were being crowded out by the influx from Mexico. But by the time the system went into effect, in 1995, the Irish economy was booming, making emigration less appealing. The system today mostly serves as “the favoured way for urban Africans to escape their continent”. In the fiscal year 2015, 10% of the population of the Republic of Congo applied for the US diversity lottery, along with 8% of the people of Sierra Leone and 7% of Ghana. “What American purpose is served” by this? The lottery doesn’t unify families or select people based on skills or humanitarian concerns; it’s just a “golden ticket” for random individuals. Time to ditch it.