July 17, 2015
This is a little awkward for me to write. As one who has spent a lot of time looking at immigration policies in other democracies, as well as the United States, I had long believed that ours was the only nation on Earth crazy enough to have an immigration lottery.
The so-called Diversity Visas are dealt out to aliens winning our lottery at the rate of 50,000 a year. None of the newcomers needs a skill or a tie to the United States -- they simply have to come from a nation that does not send us lots of immigrants, have a high school diploma or the equivalent, and be lucky. It is a policy that is hard to defend.
I have now discovered, through the most obscure of sources, that sensible little New Zealand has a similar policy. This chagrins me because I was not aware of it, despite my having spent a year (decades before the policy was developed) as a Fulbright Scholar in Wellington, the capital of that nation. Read more...