On the Vile Nature of Visa Lotteries

I will now obsess about this for a while because, as you must realize, immigration issues cut a little too close to home for me.

What lies behind the idea that the “diversity visa program” makes sense? The point of the program is to bring into the US a certain number of people from all areas of the world and then, supposedly, all sorts of goodness will ensue.

Do you realize how much contempt you need to feel towards foreigners in order to hold such a belief? Preachers of diversity see human beings as objects, as ingredients that should be used to make a dish in the melting pot of the US. They think that if they add a pinch of Ukrainians, a bunch of Koreans, a tablespoon of Chileans, and spice up the whole thing with a few Zambians, they will end up with a meal ready for consumption. The actual people don’t matter. They are nothing but objects who will always do exactly what is expected of them and interact with all other ingredients in a predictably positive and unproblematic manner.

Within the diversity-worshiping worldview, one foreigner is just as good or bad as any other. Foreigners are all nameless, faceless grains of sand. They don’t have personalities, histories, or any human qualities.

Of course, if this is your approach to foreigners, then obviously a visa lottery makes every sense. Why go to the trouble of learning anything about the actual candidates for immigration, when you can just grab a few at random? They are all the same, anyways, aren’t they?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: the ultra-tolerant preachers of diversity and multi-culturalism always act on the basis of their profound contempt for other cultures and peoples. They see themselves as individuals and me – a foreigner – as an object.

Democrats, I am profoundly disappointed in you today.

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11 comments on “On the Vile Nature of Visa Lotteries

  1. This is a classic example of a good idea gone bad.

    The good idea goes something like this: For various historic reasons we’ve got a melting pot of diverse ethnic and cultural identities. Let’s try and make this work by all being tolerant of each other.

    The bad idea: That a melting pot of diversity is an end in itself.

  2. “Why go to the trouble of learning anything about the actual candidates for immigration, when you can just grab a few at random?”

    It’s not like they take the trouble of learning anything about the actual candidates for non-lottery visas. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing they selected you on the basis of your scholarship, but for all they know, you could be a rabid anti-american who doesn’t believe in the cultural values of this country, hate free speech, etc.

    I suspect they do the lotteries not because they have some agenda, but because it’s easier to do it that way. Immigration cases are backlogged. People from india and china, for instance, have to wait for 7-8 years, even longer sometimes, to get their green cards. It requires a lot of resources to look deeply into every immigration application. So they decided to have some of them approved through a fast track in order to lighten up their case load.

    ‘Diversity’ is the term they tacked on to it to make it politically tougher to oppose.

    • “It’s not like they take the trouble of learning anything about the actual candidates for non-lottery visas. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing they selected you on the basis of your scholarship, but for all they know, you could be a rabid anti-american who doesn’t believe in the cultural values of this country, hate free speech, etc.”

      – They know I speak very good English, that I can be gainfully employed in the US, that I have lived here for years without committing any crimes. This is more than they can possibly know about any lottery winner.

      “I suspect they do the lotteries not because they have some agenda, but because it’s easier to do it that way. Immigration cases are backlogged.”

      – I suggest giving automatic visas to all holders of advanced degrees from accredited US universities. That will be fast and productive.

      • “I suggest giving automatic visas to all holders of advanced degrees from accredited US universities. That will be fast and productive.”

        I totally agree. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation, though. I suggest giving automatic residencies to holders of advanced degrees from US universities AND also holding a lottery.

      • But why hold a lottery at all? I don;t know, maybe it’s the resentment of somebody who lost every single raffle, lottery or anything that I tried playing speaking in me but the entire concept is just too crazy. If the need a rapid sudden influx of immigrants, they could just give visas to people who are already here and suffering in illegality.

    • Historically the specific purpose of the lottery was to increase immigration from low immigration countries via the non-lottery system. As Wikipedia (not the best resource but for a first pass not bad) puts it:

      “The Immigration Act of 1990 established the Diversity Visa (DV) program, where 55,000 immigrant visas would be available in an annual lottery, starting in fiscal year 1995. The lottery aims to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants mostly from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States in the previous five years.

      Those born in any territory that has sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years are not eligible to receive a diversity visa. For DV-2014, natives of the following nations were ineligible: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.[3] The entry period to apply for the DV-2014 is from October 2, 2012 to November 3, 2012.”

      So it pretty much as Clarissa describes: “Hmmm, tastes good but needs more Brazilians and South Africans but has too many Indians and Mexicans.”

      Also, I’d argue it’s a lot more offensive to tell someone “we want you because you’re a Brazilian” than “we want you because you’re fluent in Russian and Spanish and we need translators/teachers.” The former evaluates you on something over which you had no control. The later, while it does see you in utilitarian ways, at least judges your utility on what you’ve done and what you are known to be able to contribute. I’d consider it more of a resume selection while the lottery is more tokenism.

      • “Also, I’d argue it’s a lot more offensive to tell someone “we want you because you’re a Brazilian” than “we want you because you’re fluent in Russian and Spanish and we need translators/teachers.” The former evaluates you on something over which you had no control. The later, while it does see you in utilitarian ways, at least judges your utility on what you’ve done and what you are known to be able to contribute. I’d consider it more of a resume selection while the lottery is more tokenism.”

        – That’s exactly what I’m saying. As a two-time immigrant, I don’t mind in the least seeing my immigrant application approached on a utilitarian basis. But it has to make sense. The lottery selects people because they are lucky in a lottery. That’s a very bizarre criterion for selection.

        I know 3 families who got into the US as a result of a lottery. Among those families, a single person – just 1 – speaks English today. One family emigrated back in 1998, when I did. No English in all that time. So the melting pot philosophy doesn’t even work when you use this principle.

    • Just to correct Stringer Bell: it cannot be in order to relieve the case load for applications from backlogged countries. Citizens of those countries (including India and China) are specifically barred from entering the diversity lottery.

      As Clarissa says, it is some bizarre form of “recipe” for the country, and I agree that it would be better to give these visas to, for example, STEM PhDs.

  3. Many people I know would not benefit from a ‘diversity lottery’ system because 1)they are not STEM graduates and/or 2)from countries with high immigration to the US already.

    Also looking into it, I’m not sure what the point of it is:
    Per the State Department you’ve got to be at least zone 4 or above in your occupation (skilled labor) to even take advantage of the lottery.

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