Due to the recent terrorist attack that took place in New York on October 31, President Donald Trump is hoping that Congress will terminate the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. We strongly stand behind a program that helps to diversify America. The elimination of this lottery corrupts the ideals that the United States was built on.
Sayfullo Saipov, who is accused of killing eight people when he mowed down bicyclists in lower Manhattan, immigrated to the U.S. through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. According to Trump, this seems to be enough reason to remove the program all together. We think otherwise.
So, what exactly does this program entail? The Diversity Visa Lottery Program randomly selects around 50,000 immigrants from various approved countries to be awarded with green cards. The main goal of this program is to accept immigrants from countries with low immigration rates, while also adding diversity to the U.S. There are a few requirements for applicants; each applicant must have a high school education and at least two years of work experience. Although it is considered a “lottery,” people are not just chosen at random. In addition, there is also an intense vetting process the applicants undergo. They fill out numerous forms of paperwork and are subjected to background checks.
Fake documents have been submitted through the lottery to increase the chances of being chosen. While the program has brought forth concerns relating to fraud, this is not a means to completely terminate the program. There should be a stricter vetting process in place to lessen the chances of fraud. While this issue needs to be addressed, it shouldn’t burden the immigrants who want the opportunity to move to America.
By eliminating the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, Trump is generalizing that every immigrant is a terrorist. The majority of terrorist attacks that happen in the United States are committed domestically. According to the Huffington Post, “There were almost twice as many terrorist incidents by right-wing extremists as by Islamist extremists in the U.S. from 2008 to 2016.” The removal of this program is going to enforce the idea that only immigrants create acts of terror. There needs to be increased security and funding for domestic terrorism, rather than putting all of the focus and funding into international terrorism.
If the program is to remain, there are some improvements that should be made. While it is already difficult for immigrants to make their way in the United States, the Diversity Visa Lottery Program should assist them with finding job opportunities. Placing immigrants who are unfamiliar with our culture and society makes it extremely difficult for them to adapt and be successful. More funding needs to be provided to strengthen programs that will boost the success of immigrants in America.
America has been known as the land of opportunity. As time progresses our ideals seem to digress. The interrelationship that surrounds immigration and terrorism needs to end. By eliminating a program that helps to diversify this country, Trump and his administration are doing more harm than good. The opportunities that this country offers should be available to the applicants under the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.
This editorial was written by Danielle Gazdecki based on the stance of a Media Milwaukee editorial board.