Diversity Visa program

The Situation

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is a bipartisan program created in 1990 to encourage immigration from underrepresented countries. It provides an opportunity to a limited number of immigrants from countries with historically low immigration rates to come to the United States.

Lately, it has been a hot topic in the media, and we want to set facts right.

 Doing away with the Diversity Visa program means cutting a program that largely benefits African (40%) and Asian (16%) immigrants

Doing away with the Diversity Visa program means cutting a program that largely benefits African (40%) and Asian (16%) immigrants

The Truth

Diversity visas are limited to 55,000 per fiscal year, but the number has been decreased over the years.  Since 2000, the annual cap has been reduced to 50,000. In 2015, 47,934 green cards were issued to diversity visa recipients and their families.

People from countries eligible for the diversity visa enter what is commonly called the diversity lottery.  In 2015 there were over 9.3 million qualified entries who then had the opportunity to apply for the Diversity Visa.  It however is not random pickings.

Eligibility - The applicant must show that s/he has passed a thorough security and criminal background check, has either a high-school education or its equivalent, and at least two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience.

In 2015, 37% of diversity visa recipients had professional or management-related occupations and 36% were students or children.

The Ask

It is no secret that the Trump Administration is on a robust mission to 1. strip immigrants of legal status and 2. ban all new immigrants - especially immigrants of color. Since 40% of immigrants accepted for the Diversity Visa Program are from Africa, this is a Black Issue.  With an average of 20,000 new immigrants each year from the continent, this is the largest way for Black immigrants to legally migrate here. We must protect this program NO MATTER WHAT.

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