WASHINGTON, D.C. — The visa lottery has triggered a hidden wave of chain migration, and has delivered almost 5 million foreign nationals to the United States since 1994, says a new analysis.
New research by the Center for Immigration Studies reveals the enormous chain-migration impact of the visa lottery program, where 50,000 visas every year are given to foreign nationals from a multitude of countries. The countries include those with terrorist problems, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Yemen, and Uzbekistan.
Foreign nationals from eligible countries can win the visa lottery if they have a high-school degree and two years of work experience. Once they win the green cards to permanently stay in the United States, the migrants can bring in their spouses and minor children. Each arrival can get citizenship in five years, and then begin choosing members of their extended family — including parents, siblings and their children — to also become U.S. residents and citizens, regardless of their character, education, ideology or security risks. This expanding, unscreened immigration system is known as “chain migration,” and it has more than doubled U.S. immigration rates during since the 1980s.
The program is in the public eye because of the November 1 massacre of eight cyclists in New York, allegedly by Uzbek Muslim — Sayfullo Saipov — who won a green card in the 2010 visa lottery.
Data collected by the Center for Immigration Studies found that 1.1 million lottery winners have brought 3.8 million unscreened chain-migrants to the United States since 1994.
Preston Huennekens from the Center for Immigration Studies explains in his report:
Despite its supporters’ assurances that the Visa Lottery is responsible for only 50,000 immigrants in any given year, chain migration means that the program actually accounts for perhaps 165,000 new immigrants per year because of earlier lottery winners sponsoring their relatives. In addition, the multiplier for Visa Lottery immigrants could be even larger than other green card categories because the per-country caps and long waiting lists that slow down immigration from the main sending countries like Mexico and the Philippines would not apply to applicants from lottery source countries, since they are by definition getting fewer green cards overall.
This is far more than the advertised 50,000 people per year, and its implications certainly warrant discussion in the broader debate of the Visa Lottery’s future.
Foreign nationals in the United States each bring approximately 3.45 extended family members into the country.
Every year, close to 200,000 chain migrants are brought in by prior-year lottery winners, adding to the huge legal and illegal immigrant population that now stands at a record 44 million.
Even if the lottery visa program is shut down in 2017, prior arrivals will continue to bring in more unscreened family chain-migrants unless the Congress also complies with President Donald Trump’s call for an end to chain migration.
The visa lottery was created in 1990 by Democratic politicians, including Sen. Chuck Schumer — with support from the business-first wing of the GOP. Polls show broad public opposition to the unscreened immigration program.
As Breitbart News reported, more than 500,000 foreign nationals have come to the U.S. by winning the visa lottery in their native countries between 2005 and 2015. The United States has even invited 25,976 Uzbek co-nationals of suspected New York City terrorist Sayfullo Saipov, despite Uzbekistan being listed by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency as a terrorist hotspot. Saipov entered the U.S. by winning the Visa Lottery in 2010 and quickly obtained a green card.
Mass immigration via chain migration to the U.S. has led to negative impacts on the American public. For instance, every year, 4 million blue-collar and white-collar Americans graduate from college but are thrown into a workforce where they must compete with nearly 1.5 million new illegal and legal immigrants who are admitted to the U.S. every year.