US President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled a new immigration proposal that would among other things eliminate the Green Card Lottery (Diversity Visa Program).
In the proposal, the 50,000 permanent resident visas issued annually under the 50,000 would instead be re-allocated to employment-based applicants.
The Diversity Visa Program issues 50,000 green cards annually on a lottery basis to nationals of countries with low immigration rates to the United States.
Speaking at the White House Trump said the proposal would also limit family-based sponsorship to children and spouses of US citizens.
Trump criticized the current immigration system that includes granting green cards on a lottery basis and based on having relatives in the United States as dysfunctional and unfair.
He said his proposal will prioritize highly skilled workers over familiar ties, adding that the current immigration system that does not offer a legal path for immigrants who graduate on top of their classes from some of the best universities in the US to remain and work in the country it totally broken.
After studying the systems of the other countries, they found that 12% of migration to the United States was based on employment and skill, compared with 63% for Canada, 57% for New Zealand, 68% for Australia and 52% for Japan.
During the presidential campaign and since then, Trump has said he favors immigration programs that are merit-based (such as employment-based programs available for high-skilled individuals), and has continually pledged to end chain migration – family-based migration.
The proposal, developed by senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, faces an uphill battle for passage in Congress.
Democrats who control the House of Representatives have pledged to vote down any immigration reform bill that does not provide permanent legal status to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
Republicans who control the Senate on the other hand say the proposal does not reduce the overall level of immigration, which they have been pushing for.
Earlier on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the issue of DACA was purposefully left out of the new immigration plan because it is too “divisive”.
“Every single time we have put forward or anyone else has put forward any type of immigration plan and it’s included DACA, it’s failed. It’s a divisive thing,” Sanders told reporters, adding that DACA was “left out on purpose.”
The results for individuals who participated in the lottery during the open registration period last year, between October 30, 2018 and November 6, 2018 are out.
Entrants are now able to confirm if they won by entering their confirmation number and personal information.
The US State Department will then conduct background checks and interviews on winners before granting them permanent residency visas/green cards.
The US State Department will begin procession visas and conducting interviews for the eventual winners starting in October, 2019, with those who pass the interviews, background checks and other qualifications such as high school education and/or work experience being granted permanent resident visas.
The Diversity Visa program, which is administered by the State Department, makes 50,000 permanent resident visas available annually to nationals of countries with low immigration rates to the United States over the previous five years.
Kenya is one of the countries whose nationals qualified to participate in the DV-2020 lottery.
A total of 5,263 Kenyan nationals were granted permanent resident status (green cards) in the first three quarters of 2018, newly released data from the United States Department of Homeland Security indicates.
The number includes 2,934 individuals already living in the United States who adjusted their status and 2,329 new arrivals, and comprises all classes of admission including diversity visas/green card lottery winners, immediate relatives of US citizens, family-sponsored preferences, employment-based preferences, and asylees.
If you participated in DV-2020, you can check if you are winner at this link: https://dvlottery.state.gov.
If you did not participate in last year’s drawing or participated but did not win, next open registration period will run between October and November, 2019.
The exact dates will be announced later by the State Department.