The Unkindest Increase of Them All: 25,000 More in the Diversity Visa Lottery

By David North on February 19, 2021

Of all the needless increases in immigration proposed by the Biden administration, the least useful of them all is the notion that the Diversity Visa Lottery ceiling be lifted from 55,000 to 80,000. (See sec. 3301, on p. 217 of the bill.)

The extra 25,000 will have:

  • No particular skills;
  • No wealth; and
  • No existing ties to the U.S.

They will not be victims of any kind, nor will they be refugees.

We issue immigration visas to more than one million aliens a year, virtually all of whom do have one or more of the of the five attributes noted above, with the biggest group being relatives of migrants to this country. While, by accident, handfuls among the lottery winners will have some skills, a cousin in the U.S., or some cash in the bank, that is pure happenstance.

The minimal requirements of the Diversity Visa Lottery are that the principal winner (but not his or her spouse or kids) needs to have a high school diploma or two years of specialized training (a fuzzy concept at best). The winners have to be minimally skilled enough to apply on a computer, or have enough money to pay someone to do that for them; they also, and this is a Trump modification, must have a passport from the nation of origin, a provision that eliminates some of the poorest of applicants .

That's it. Further, absolutely no knowledge of English required, and there is no maximum age.

While other nations, such as Canada and Australia, have point systems for screening would-be migrants, rewarding education, skills, youth, and linguistic abilities, the Diversity Visa Lottery has none of these elements. You do have to apply from a country that doesn't already have oodles of migrants here; people from China, India, and Mexico, among others, cannot apply.

Incidentally, much of the media coverage (not to mention the bill itself) skip over the unattractive fact that the program is based on a lottery; see, for instance, this report from The Hill. This is in keeping with mainstream media's relentless drive to make international migration to the U.S. as attractive as possible.