“Trump demands Congress terminate diversity immigration lottery”


“President Donald Trump, during a White House Cabinet meeting Wednesday [November 1], said he wants to terminate the Diversity Visa Lottery, a program that distributes around 50,000 visas to countries where there is a low rate of immigration to the US.

“‘I am, today, starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program,’ Trump said, seated next to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

“…He added: ‘We're going to quickly as possible get rid of chain migration and move to a merit-based system.’

“…The diversity visa has been a point of contention for years. The 50,000 visas, distributed by random selection among countries where there is a low rate of immigration to the US, were originally designed to diversify the pool of immigrants to the US. The visas offer immigrants green cards, permanent legal residence and a path to citizenship.

“Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue have introduced a bill, endorsed by Trump, that would eliminate the diversity lottery and certain categories of family-based green cards, and then would transform the remaining employment-based visas into a point system that favors heavily highly skilled, highly educated, English-speaking immigrants.

“But while there is consensus around needing to reform the process, limited support exists even within the GOP for Cotton and Perdue's bill.

“Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who has been an ardent critic of Trump, noted…the Gang of Eight bill, had it been signed into law, would have done away with the diversity visa program.

“The Cotton-Perdue bill would roughly halve the number of green cards overall per year, a point of contention for many Democrats and Republicans alike, and wouldn't easily allow for low skilled immigrants to come to the US permanently, another sticking point for many.”

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