After the New York terrorist attack which killed eight people on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump began to talk about strict immigration rules and the cancellation of the Green Card Lottery.
Communicating with reporters at the White House on Wednesday, Trump stated that he was starting the process of ending the Green Card Lottery.
“This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and puts America first,” Trump said during a#White House event this week.
It is worth noting that Trump can start using the terrorist attack in New York in his rhetoric and the struggle to tighten the rules for admission of immigrants to the United States.
Mainly helps in this precedent is that a terrorist, an adherent of the Islamic state, was a native of Uzbekistan, who according to unofficial information had a “Green Card.”
It is worth recalling that immediately after the terrorist act, Trump ordered to accelerate the implementation of the Extreme Vetting program, which provides for “extreme” conditions for the selection of immigrants from 11 countries that may pose a risk to the United States (Syria, Iran, etc.).
And now Trump is once again in favor of canceling the lottery. To replace it should come to a system based on the evaluation of the qualities of potential emigrants, which will include professional skills and language skills.
What is Green Card?
Green Card Lottery Program was founded in 1990. Each year, about 50,000 immigrants receive the right to permanent residence in the United States. The US government conducts it. Any person with no secondary education who does not have criminal records can take part in it, and who will fill out the application correctly during the relevant period.
The selection of winners is carried out by a computer by the random selection algorithm. Therefore, knowledge of English, work experience or other criteria do not affect the winning. The results of the draw are announced by the US Department of State roughly starting May 1–3 every year. Results are checked only online on the US site. After that, if a person wins, you must fill in and send in the USA the required questionnaires, go through an interview at the embassy and receive a DV-visa. In the US, Green Card issued to a person who has won a 3–6 months residence on an indefinite basis. Having a “Green Card,” a person receives a work permit, as well as medical insurance.
In the development of this program, the current leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, Chuck Sumer, played an active role. It received support from both parties in the Congress and was approved by President Bush Senior.
Trump called the program a brainchild of Sumer.
However, Sumer himself in 2013 was among the authors of the bill, which proposed the complete elimination of the Green Card Lottery.
This bill adopted by the Senate, but faced resistance Republicans in the House of Representatives.
At the moment, according to Trump, the State Department officially declared that he did not stop the lottery.
An example of Ukraine and Uzbekistan
I am living in Ukraine. It is one of the poorest countries in Europe, which in turn is one of the largest “suppliers” of immigrants in the United States who win the Green Card Lottery. And I want to give one simple statistics.
We can open official results and see the number of winners. As a result of 2017, 4478 Ukrainians won the lottery. It is a bit less than in Russia — 4,500, but more than Turkey — 4,390 and a significant majority of countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In 2016, among Ukrainians, there were 4 500 lottery winners, 4 507 in 2015, 4 677 in 2014, and 4 679 in 2014. For example, in 2013, there were even more 6 009, and in 2004–5,361.
However, in 2017, Uzbekistan, whence the New-York terrorist arrived, ranked sixth in the number of those who won the Green Card after Russia, Iran, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Egypt. The number of Uzbek winners of the lottery in 2017 was 4494. Ukraine is the eighth, after the six named countries and Albania.
Undoubtedly, cancellation of a lottery, on the one hand, will strike not only on the citizens of our country, who so try to leave the United States but also through intermediaries who make money. On the Internet, you can find dozens of companies that provide their intermediary and accompanying services, promising citizens full support for receiving Green Card. They help fill out the application documents at the right time, after the win, prepare for an interview at the US Embassy and fill out a questionnaire with you or for you. The services of these companies cost from $ 700 to $ 1,000. At the same time, very often, after winning you need to pay extra for preparing for an interview at the embassy. It is clear that in case of a loss in the lottery, your money will not be returned.
According to the data of past years, applications for lottery participation send more than 1 million Ukrainians a year.
Sukhrob Ismailov, a former lawyer from Tashkent and now an independent consultant in New York, explains: “The Green Card is highly regarded among the people of Uzbekistan, and they are doing their utmost to get an entry visa to the United States in pursuit of the American dream.”But the prize in the lottery can be very expensive. The high level of participation of citizens of Uzbekistan in the lottery, especially among residents of Samarkand, is explained by the criminal activities of intermediaries, which fill thousands of electronic forms on behalf of Uzbek citizens, who are not aware of this.Winners in the lottery than having to pay a hefty sum to such an intermediary in order not to miss the chance to use the visa. As Sukhrob Ismayilov says, Samarkand residents are particularly eager to work abroad and create illegal private agencies that offer their services to those who wish to participate in the green card lottery.
Why can a cancellation be useful for the US?
According to Newsweek, a large number of immigrants from Arab, African and European countries who fought for Islamic State in Syria, are returning home or had already returned.
In connection with this, the tightening of immigrant policies can help the US in matters of security. And the cancellation of the Green Card Lottery (181 winners in 2017) can also become an instrument for combating a potential threat. Indeed, among African countries, for example, Tunisia, whose citizens are also actively involved in the lottery, 6,000 fighters compete in the ranks of the Islamic state.