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jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (39 posts)

Is Eliminating The Diversity Visa Program An Idea Without Merit

  1. GA Anderson profile image80
    GA Andersonposted 4 months ago

    Asking whether eliminating the Diversity Lottery Program is a good or bad idea goes hand in hand with asking whether the U.S. immigration policies should focus on "merit-based"  goals. Which is also tied to the question of what should be the purpose of our immigration policies; to benefit U.S. citizens, or to benefit other counties' citizens.

    I don't think the first question can be answered without answering the last question - first.

    I say that our immigration policies should be aimed at benefiting American citizens. Which means that I think the Diversity Visa program should be eliminated, and our immigration policies should be merit-based.

    Where am I wrong?

    GA

    1. Credence2 profile image80
      Credence2posted 4 months agoin reply to this

      I can't buy that, GA. Miss Liberty would say otherwise and I stand with her.

      I see more of a two tiered system.

      I see maintaining a lottery type system type system with a set quota from nations around the world based on their population.

      I am open to the merit based system for anyone to apply at anytime.

      Otherwise, with merit based solely we end up with just rich white folks being allowed and that is not part  and parcel of what America is to represent. That is not my idea of cultural relevance and assimilation.

      Isn't that the kinda stuff Being whispered into Trump's ear by white supremacists?

      1. wilderness profile image98
        wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        "Otherwise, with merit based solely we end up with just rich white folks being allowed and that is not part  and parcel of what America is to represent."

        Are you falling into the trap of thinking that there are no black, brown, yellow, etc. - any color other than white - people that will add value ("merit") to the country and would immigrate?  Or saying that black (brown, yellow, whatever) people shall be invited because of their color - that a "part and parcel of what America is to represent" is to discriminate based on color?

        Truly, it would seem that setting different standards for people based on the color of their skin as about as racist as one can get.  We've been down that road - treating people differently because of the color of their skin - and it wasn't a good time.  You aren't forgetting those times, are you?

      2. GA Anderson profile image80
        GA Andersonposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Cred, that strikes me as both a pretty denigrating view of the world's non-whites, and, a partisan answer, (...Being whispered into Trump's ear by white supremacists?"),  that ignores conflicting data.

        Do you really think it is only white folks that can meet the bar of merit-based qualification? Do you also think that we are not a diverse nation? Or maybe a more basic question to start from would be "What do you think America represents - relative to immigration policies?"

        It sounds like you think we should be the world's "Pot-o-Gold,"  with our own interests being secondary to the world's expectations. Is that a fair thought?

        If you are okay with 55,000 lottery winners immigrating, are you also okay with another, potentially, 110,000 to 725,000 attached, (via chain migration possibilities), immigrants coming with them?

        Which "Miss Liberty are you standing with; the one that was designed, placed, and dedicated as a monument to the freedoms and liberty of a free nation - The United States of America - intended to inspire other nations to follow that path, or the one of the poem, (added 17 years later)?


        GA

  2. wilderness profile image98
    wildernessposted 4 months ago

    I'm not very familiar with the lottery, but according to CNN, "Diversity recipients specifically must also have at least a high school education or equivalent and must have had at least two years of experience working a job that requires at least two years of training or experience within five years of the date of the application. They must also be admissible to the US -- categories of inadmissibility to the US broadly include terrorism connections."

    Isn't that along the lines of "merit"?  Is it that people of all countries (cultures, norms, etc.) get a chance?  Do we not validate the claims of education/experience that we require? 

    I guess I'm not getting the objection.

  3. Credence2 profile image80
    Credence2posted 4 months ago

    GA and Wilderness, Trying to bone up on this topic a bit more

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/ … -americans

    Some applicants will have an advantage over others, but they all need not be rocket scientists from industrialized societies.

    Seems like I remember times when Immigration was favored from Northern Europe and that was the sole advantage in itself. Was the focus on 'skilled' applicants then?

    In the article it spoke about 'anchor' families, I can accept the idea that outside of the applicant and immediate family, all other extended family wishing to enter must apply separately.

    Yes, it is a diverse nation and I want to keep it that way. There are poor countries where otherwise talented and motivated people do not have the opportunity to acquire advanced degrees or even attend high school. I simply do not want to eliminate consideration of this pool of applicants in its entirety which seems to be the gist of what you are discussing. Industrialized, first world, nations are more than likely to have residents that can 'toe the line'. And the reason  that so many are wealthy is built a great deal on exploiting others over centuries, and I don't dismiss that.

    America represents 'opportunity' for those that are willing to make the best of it. This flinty attitude regarding the skills set as of late is not something I am comfortable with. But, the point needs to made that my and 'your' or 'our' interests could well diverge at certain points.

    Maybe, I could live with a probation period of sorts, a provisional status for all applicants requiring that they become gainfully employed and not a burden on the tax payer within a certain period of time.

    Give us your tired, your poor....... I think that the possibility of marginal people becoming exceptional ones when given a chance is too great an opportunity to ignore.

    I go along with the merit based but as is shown in other societies that employ such an approach, it is not the sole determinant as to who the opportunity to immigrate is made available. That is the way I believe that it should be here.

    1. wilderness profile image98
      wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Good article - there was very little in the RAISE act that I couldn't go along with, although some is at least a little iffy. 

      Setting aside refugees from war or natural disaster as another problem to be addressed separately, what other determinants might you suggest?  You say merit is not the sole determinant - what else is reasonable in your mind?  And what is "immediate family" to you - does it go beyond minor children and spouse of the applicant?  Specifically, parents, siblings and adult children of the applicant?

      1. Credence2 profile image80
        Credence2posted 4 months agoin reply to this

        My point is that 'merit' that is to be assessed before the applicant is accepted is not exclusively the only way to go about it. I like the lottery as a supplemental program, barring previous criminal activity and including a probation period that allows the system to accommodate the possibility of potential for an applicant that might otherwise be ignored. For what America represents for me, that concept has to play a role.

        As for immediate family, this is the spouse and minor children of the applicant, only.

        1. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          A lottery.  As in anyone that can win a lottery is admitted (given lack of criminal, terrorist, or other objectionable activity)?  People that we will then have to support, educate and find jobs for in the hopes that we won't simply support them forever?

          Who would get the "tickets"?  People from countries that have no other (acceptable) applicants?  How should "tickets" be appropriated - by the population of countries?  By the inverse of the number of successful (merit) population?  Something else?

          I confess I'm tired of being expected to provide support to billions of the world's population (while Americans go without) in return for nothing but demands for more.  I would much rather put that (limited) resource into refugees that are in serious trouble.  Syria, maybe, or El Salvador - places where life itself is nearly untenable due to war or natural disasters.  The numbers of such people I would bring to the country is quite limited - give them to refugees.

          1. Credence2 profile image80
            Credence2posted 4 months agoin reply to this

            "A lottery.  As in anyone that can win a lottery is admitted (given lack of criminal, terrorist, or other objectionable activity)?  People that we will then have to support, educate and find jobs for in the hopes that we won't simply support them forever?"

            Who is assuming that all immigrants that 'do not toe the line' of the merit formula are to be forever a liability? You think about people automatically along such lines, I do not. Such is the difference.
            ----------------------------------------------------------------

            There should be a quota for so many from each country that will be admitted. You want to reduce immigration, reduce the quotas equally across the board, worldwide. Take the applications screen for criminal backgrounds, etc., and otherwise out of 1000 applicants with a quota of ,say, 100, randomly select, just the way they used to pull ticket numbers for who would be selected in the draft? I would have a probation as part of the program, with productivity being a requirement

            To have a fair and representative immigration system is not providing support to the worlds population. Every civilized nation has provisions for immigration and I don't think that 'bean counting' is really the foundation for most of them.  It may well be a myth that American workers are threatened with the immigrants, the Hill article put forth one position but the Atlantic Monthly was contrary to its opinion. When I think of the billions of dollars wasted on nation building in Afghanistan, now that is what I consider wasted resources. The term "Serious Trouble" is relative.

            1. wilderness profile image98
              wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

              OK, so every country (200 of them) gets 1,000 tickets and 1,000 "non-merit" immigrants.  20,000 people each year for Americans to support and educate until they can support themselves.  Right so far?

              Plus some merit immigrants - if we're to hold to that concept that we're not the worlds nanny, better make it 10,000 per country.  But that's still only 10 to 1 merit vs charity - better say 30,000 per country.  So now we have 6M immigrants per year, and that's far beyond anything I'd accept.  Can we cut it back to 10,000 merit and 100 charity per country, leaving at least a little room to help real refugees?

              Sound good?

              1. psycheskinner profile image81
                psycheskinnerposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                Forgive me if i misunderstand you, but you don't seem to know that the greencard lottery  already exists and how it currently functions.  IMHO very well indeed.  The lottery gets your application considered, they still have to meet certain qualifications and submit and application.

                1. wilderness profile image98
                  wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                  But the thought is to do away with the lottery system.  Or, if it's kept, what to do with it - how many are accepted, from where, and what additional requirements would be beyond just "winning the lottery".  It's all about switching to merit based immigration vs simply winning a lottery as there doesn't seem to be much in the way of requirements beyond not being a criminal.

                2. GA Anderson profile image80
                  GA Andersonposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                  Hi psycheskinner, your post gives me an opportunity to explain, (although your post does it well - I just feel responsible as the OP), a point I don't think I was clear about.

                  Your comment is completely correct. Lottery winners still need to meet the same immigration requirements as any other applicant. And, the only thing the lottery does is put their application on someone's desk to consider.

                  As I recall my comments, I don't think I was clear in my intent. I am questioning the "whys" of the program. Why do we offer it? Why an allotment to specific countries? Why offer a lottery chance to jump ahead of other applicants?

                  My questions might be from ignorance of our current immigration policies, but, if citizen's from any country are already allowed to apply for immigration - why do we have a lottery to allow others to "win" priority consideration?

                  If the purpose is compassion-driven  - then why not incorporate that compassion determination into our standing immigration policies?

                  It seems that from whatever perspective I try to view the issue; I can't shake the perception that we are offering immigration slots based on race or nationality - neither of which belong in a merit-based, or even a compassion-driven determination.

                  And then there is also my - unsupported, yet nagging - thought that a lottery winner's application might not get quite the same scrutiny, (because of the "winning" factor), as normal-channel applicants.

                  GA

                  1. dianetrotter profile image70
                    dianetrotterposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                    I have no idea of how any of it is done.  If there is special consideration based on country, why?  Which countries?

                  2. wilderness profile image98
                    wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                    You've educated me a little further here (not unusual - you do that a lot) - thanks.

                    And I now question the lottery the same as you - why is it there at all if not to give special consideration to race or country?

    2. GA Anderson profile image80
      GA Andersonposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Geesh Cred, you are all over the board on that one. It sounds like, maybe, you still want a Diversity Visa program. (as in, the USA is the world's Pot of Gold), but then maybe a merit-based program isn't so wrong. I am not sure which it is.

      I am glad that we seem to agree on the "chain-migration" aspect. It appears that curtailing that was one of the reasons given as justification for the "white supremacist" charge.

      As another has pointed out, our Diversity Visa program sure looks like an sffirmative action program for the world's benefit - not ours. Amid all the cries that we cannot get beyond color as a value judgement - here we, (us Conservative folks),  are in the middle of this mess.

      I read somewhere that Senator Schumer was involved in the initial creation of the program in 1990, but changed his mind and was part of a group of Senators trying to end the program in 2013. But now that the Republicans want to end it, he is for it again. No wonder heads spin trying to understand the rhetoric.

      Relative to your thought that you don't want to  miss out on those Diversity Visa folks that might turn out to be great assets to our country - isn't that the same as saying we will take 55,000 Surprise Grab Bags - in the hopes there is a prize in a few of them? After all, my shallow understanding of the program is that it is designed to benefit countries that don't normally get very many immigrants accepted under our "normal" immigration policies. Why don't many get accepted?

      GA

  4. PrettyPanther profile image83
    PrettyPantherposted 4 months ago

    For me, it is a values-based question. What kind of people are we? If "merit' is economic- and education- based, then we are essentially saying that even if you are hard working but uneducated you are not worthy to be here. That goes against my personal values as a human being; and what is a country, but the sum of its citizens' values?

    I believe it is part of our identity as a nation to welcome people who are seeking a better life. Do we want to become a nation known for
    welcoming only the already fortunate, as though they are somehow " better"? Surely, we can find it in our hearts to have both a merit-based system and another path for allowing those who happen to be born into economic distress an opportunity for a better life. If we can't, then we are not the people I thought we were.

    1. Credence2 profile image80
      Credence2posted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Panther, well said, the Gettyburg's Address has got nothing on your timely words here, thanks!!

    2. GA Anderson profile image80
      GA Andersonposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      I think I understand your point Prettypanther, and basically, I agree with you. But... I think the attitude you want to see in our immigration policies can be done - without a Diversity Visa lottery that arbitrarily sets aside a number of visas for specific countries. Let's call them "Compassion Visas," and include a number of them within our "normal" immigration policy numbers.

      I think that to assign them to specific countries, and make the opportunity to get them "the luck of the draw,"  changes the determination of "compassion" to one of less worthy considerations, like; color and national origin - both of which the Left is condemning the Right for considering.

      I think you can have your cake and eat it too. Dump the Diversity program, put those numbers of visas into our regular immigration system, and give the immigration officials that make "qualifying" determinations the option to classify an applicant as a "compassion worthy" applicant.

      Then we can all feel like our American values are those of the Statue's poem. I know I would prefer to think of my values that way. I am proud that America is a compassionate nation, and a beacon of freedom to some of the world's not-so-free citizens, but I am also a realist that understands feel-good thoughts aren't always realistic. Or right. And I think our Diversity Visa program is wrong.

      GA

      1. PrettyPanther profile image83
        PrettyPantherposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        I can agree with what you have said here.  However, I don't think the administration is going in that direction, though I confess I don't know all the details of their proposals at this time.

        1. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          LOL  I don't think anyone knows all the details (last I heard he would release it today).  It won't matter anyway because it won't be voted on as is anyway.

          But that's all right - we can all discuss what we'd like to see and what we think should be done.  Who knows - maybe some Senator is reading the forums!

          1. PrettyPanther profile image83
            PrettyPantherposted 4 months agoin reply to this

            Yep, as you say, the details will probably change many times before legislation is finally passed.  If legislation is finally passed.  You can't count on that these day.

        2. GA Anderson profile image80
          GA Andersonposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          I know what you mean PrettyPanther. That's why I took just a part of the current immigration program to address - not the whole of Pres. Trump's proposal, (even though that is what brought the Diversity Lottery into the spotlight).

          GA

    3. mrpopo profile image75
      mrpopoposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Is there a way to measure how hard working an individual is? Your proposed solution doesn't seem to account for that (those who are born into economic distress may or may not be hard working).

      Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but hard work is a form of merit. I don't see how this is a personal value as much as it is a recognition of a quality that should be rewarded. If it were about helping those in economic distress (hard working or not), then that'd be a personal value.

      1. wilderness profile image98
        wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        "Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but hard work is a form of merit."

        Yes and no.  If you're an extremely hard working rice farmer, great at controlling oxen in the rice fields, is it of real value in the US?  It's an attitude that we value, but if it doesn't come with a skill set we can also use then the value goes way down.  IMO.

        But if we could measure it, it would certainly be something to look at in conjunction with skills/education.

        1. dianetrotter profile image70
          dianetrotterposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          Africa Is Sending Us Its Best and Brightest (edit - one of the shitholes)
          https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles … -brightest

          I have a friend who married an African.  One daughter graduated from an ivy league college and is in law school.  The other went to Cal State and is an engineer.

          One of my former African students was an athlete and graduated from Arizona State.  Nike helped her open her own Nike store.

          I have found African students to take education more seriously than American students.  There is a strong family unit that encourages the children to succeed. 

          I've taught a lot of kids in gangs.  Never an African.  They do not dress to "fit in."


          Merit should include a support system conducive to high achievement.  If the person gets in trouble while going through the process, address it then.  At least the person is being given the opportunity.

          1. gmwilliams profile image85
            gmwilliamsposted 4 months agoin reply to this

            Good morning Diane.  Totally agree w/your premise.

          2. wilderness profile image98
            wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

            I'm not sure what you're trying to say unless it is that there are people in every country that will benefit the US if allowed to immigrate.  No argument there.

            But your last paragraph - is that an indication that you think we should invite the uneducated and unskilled to immigrate so that we can then educate them and set them up in a better life?  If so, why would we do that rather than invite someone that will hit the ground running and need little to nothing from us to make a new life for themselves?

        2. mrpopo profile image75
          mrpopoposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          Good point - I should have said that hard work can be a form of merit.

          Just like education, for that matter - there are some university degrees which are not worth the paper they're printed on.

  5. dianetrotter profile image70
    dianetrotterposted 4 months ago

    Posting from phone so I can't tell who I'm responding to.  GM thank you?  Wilderness, a 16 year old African student was in news last week.  She was in a plane crash.  3rd degree burns over 90+ percent of her body.  She was brought here for burn treatment.  She graduated college, learned to sing after burs, appeared on America's Got Talent.  She is a spokesperson for Shriners.  Women that fear genital mutilation have stories to tell.  Yes, you can't expect children to hit the ground running.

    1. wilderness profile image98
      wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Still nor sure what your point is.  Do you feel that we owe these people a new life, that it is our responsibility to bring anyone suffering bad times into the country and support and educate them until they can live on their own (if they ever will)?  How many do you feel we owe a new life to - 10,000 per year?  A million?  10 million?

      1. dianetrotter profile image70
        dianetrotterposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        I think we should be compassionate people   God has mercy on those who have mercy on others.  When we get tribal, it breaks down into ugliness.  1.  USA only  2.  my state/region only  3.  people who look like me only (and that really gets nasty).

        Yes, I'm including those who are unable to help themselves because God included me.

        1. wilderness profile image98
          wildernessposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          Would you set a limit on immigration, or just anyone wanting in (no criminals, etc.).  If so, would you give priority to those that help the country or those we have to support and cost the country?  Or neither - make it all the "luck of the draw"?

          1. dianetrotter profile image70
            dianetrotterposted 4 months agoin reply to this

            I don't know enough to have a philosophy.  I have ideas.  I don't know how reasonable they are.  I love the fact that we are "DISCUSSING!"  Good job folks!

            Who has factual information about the lottery and how it is done?

            1. GA Anderson profile image80
              GA Andersonposted 4 months agoin reply to this

              Hi Diane, The issue, The Diversity Visa Lottery, isn't one with a lot of complicated details to understand before you can form an opinion about it. That is especially true relative to my OP because it is being discussed as a concept - not the nuts and bolts details of the program.

              Essentially it goes like this: Certain countries, (ie. Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations), are given a specific amount of immigration application opportunities, (this is completely separate from normal immigration policies from those countries). This is the lottery pool of immigration consideration opportunities. Just to pick a number, let's say it is 1000. So Haiti gets 1000 extra immigration slots, (remember, this is outside of normal immigration activities). I am not sure if applicants are assigned numbers, or if actual applications are drawn, but either way, 1000 folks are chosen - by the luck of the draw, to have their immigration applications considered. And they are considered separately from the other immigrants from that country already waiting in line to get their applications considered.

              It is important to note that those visa lottery winners don't automatically get a visa, they have to meet the same immigration criteria as "normal" immigration applicants.

              A couple of those specific details might not be exactly right, but I think they are at least close enough to give you a concept of the program.

              Now you just need to go to the start of the thread and follow the pro and con comments and decide how you feel about it. I would add one piece of advice; I do not think this can be a "heart" only determination. I think we should consider the passion coming from our heart, but that we must also weigh that against the reason of our mind. We all want to listen to our heart and bring that last survivor out of the sea and into the life boat, but when the reason of mind tells us that last survivor will sink the boat and put us all back into the sea...

              GA

              1. dianetrotter profile image70
                dianetrotterposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                Found this - immigration.findlaw.com

                Diversity Lottery Requirements

                To be eligible to apply for the Diversity Lottery, you must be a foreign national or the spouse of a foreign national from a country that is eligible to participate in the program. In some cases, an applicant is eligible if a parent was born in a foreign country that is eligible to participate. In addition, applicants must have a high school diploma or two years of work experience within the past five years, in an occupation that requires at least two years of training.

                There are strict time guidelines for the electronic submission of Diversity Lottery applications--usually about a two-month window for application. Photograph requirements are also very specific in terms of format, resolution, size, focus, and the position of the person being photographed. Failure to meet these exact specifications will result in the application's removal from the lottery. For the most recent lottery (2004), almost 3,000,000 applications were disqualified for failing to meet application requirements. Only one entry may be submitted for each Diversity Lottery period, although people who have already sought a visa under another visa category are eligible to submit under the Diversity Lottery as well.

                Ineligible Countries and Excludable Individuals (Haiti and El Salvador listed here with the shitholes)

                Foreign nationals of the following countries are not eligible for the 2005 Diversity Lottery: Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.   

                Individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes or who have certain communicable diseases may be automatically excluded from participation in the diversity lottery.

                1. GA Anderson profile image80
                  GA Andersonposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                  It is great that you found those details Diane, but what do you think of the program...  Do you think we should keep it?

                  GA

 
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