Time To Dump The Diversity Visa

Imagine the most intellectually indefensible
policy in the most corrupt area of government and
you`ve got the

diversity visa
—a program by which some 55,000
foreigners annually win admittance to the United
States through a lottery.

A lottery! Can you think of a better way to
devalue American residence than by making it dependant
on sheer dumb luck?

The House of Representatives is finally looking
critically at this turkey. There`s a bill in the hopper
(Rep. Bob Goodlatte`s H.R. 775) that would end it.
Recently, the House Committee on Immigration considered
the peculiar policy`s fraud and terrorism potential by
inviting a panel of experts to share their thoughts.

That the Committee held a hearing is a good sign that
the bill might be brought up for a vote. (You can watch
a webcast of the hearing on the

Immigration Committee`s site

The basis for this policy is the fashionable but
foolish notion that diversity is the highest good.
Therefore the United States should open its national
door to “underrepresented” nations. We are
supposed to believe that American diversity is truly
deeply enriched by receiving an additional 31
Paraguayans, 8 Botswanans and 2819 Togoans. (These

2004 numbers
show the inscrutable diversity
calculation as churned out by the State Department.)

Not only has the visa lottery been a bad idea since

beginning in 1995
, its implementation has been an
embarrassment even to clueless Washington.

Obvious problems include:

  • National security. You might think
    that simple prudence after 911 would have dictated a
    cutback on applicants from known enemies of the United
    States. Not so! Persons from terror-supporting nations,

    by the

    State Department
    , are still in the mix—including
    3,380 for this year`s slots. One of those terror
    strongholds: Iran, currently engaged in building the

    Islamic nuke
    . (Pakistan
    built the first.) It was allotted 1,431 visas in 2004.

It`s likely that only

Darwin-award level
would-be terrorists will be
spotted, like the Jakarta terrorists who blew themselves

with their own grenade
, or the Palestinian who

exploded during a mugging.

And why take the chance anyway? It is a dangerous
arrogance to believe that all bad guys can be detected
and kept out.

We have already had an

infamous terrorist
arrive via the lottery: Hashem
Mohamed Hadayet, an illegal alien transformed into a
permanent resident with his wife`s luck of the draw.

In July 4, 2002, Hadayet

opened fire
on the El Al ticket counter at Los
Angeles Airport. Before being taken down by the chief of
security, Hadayet wounded several people and killed

Yaakov Aminov
, a 46-year-old businessman, and

Victoria Hen
, an El Al employee. Hen`s death was

particularly tragic
: her parents and boyfriend were
planning a surprise party the very next day at which he
would formally propose to her.

Other terrorists welcomed into America via lottery

Karim Koubriti

Ahmed Hannan
, both Moroccans who were

in a sleeper cell trial in Detroit last

“Moreover, there is
strong anecdotal evidence that many people send in more
than one application using different names in an effort
to increase their chances of winning. It is partly for
this reason that so many `winning` entries are
eventually thrown out. The whole process makes a mockery
of attempts to apply even the most minimal of

At 7,145 visas this year, Nigeria is one of the
biggest diversity-lottery beneficiaries. But it is also
rated as one of the planet`s

most corrupt
countries—no small
accomplishment—making it probably not the best place to
hold a raffle.

As well as being famous for the unique

literary quality
of its email scams aimed at
credulous Americans, Nigeria has an ongoing

civil war between Muslims and Christians
. Remember

Miss World fiasco
of 2002? More than 200 Nigerians
died in

Muslim rioting
after an insufficiently sensitive
journalist noted that Mohammed could have chosen a fine
trophy wife for his collection from the many sumptuous
gals in competition.

In northern Nigeria, some areas have instituted the
extreme Islamist sharia law. Sharia is not supposed to
affect Christians, but there have been deadly skirmishes
over beer: Muslims have burned down liquor stores, while
beer drinkers have stoutly defended for their right to
live as

. In sharia zones,

women`s social standing
rates at Taliban levels—for
example, Zamfara, where women are not permitted to ride
on the same buses as men. Criminal justice is brutal.
The theft of a goat may bring

. And the influence of fundamentalist
Islam is on the uptick in Nigeria.

But more than 7000 Nigerians will be given green
cards this year. Some may be making their new homes in
your town.

  • Importing homegrown conflicts. For
    example, the

    Vietnam War
    seems to have flared up ahmong the

    . Those who favor more openness toward
    communist Laos are battling it out with


    on the streets of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
    There have been drive-by shootings and

    but no deaths—yet.


  • Cultural incompatibility. It`s too
    bad that the Immigration Subcommittee did not
    investigate the

    cultural rot
    that is imported through the diversity
    visa. The visa lottery welcomes cultures in which the
    societal norms include slavery (e.g. Sudan—1,183
    diversity visas for 2004), female genital mutilation
    (Ethiopia, where the incidence of FGM is

    90 percent
    —6,353 visas), arranged marriage for
    children (Bangladesh—5,126 visas) and honor killing
    (Jordan—125 visas).

We all know that diversity is strength—but it`s also

honor killing

child marriage

Speaking of Jordan—the alleged murderer of Nick Berg
is a native of that country. A voice analysis of the man
who beheaded Berg suggests that the killer is terrorist

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Americans often parrot an appreciation for diversity.
But they are usually thinking about the latest

Brazilian pizza
or the best sake to have with
tacos—not the reality of culturally-ensconced

But who can blame ordinary folks when the media and
other elite thought-mongers refuse to connect the
obvious dots and conclude that

is a fundamentally wrong policy

If diversity is so wonderful, then millions of people
around the world would not be killing each other over
differences of race,

, ethnicity and culture—just those qualities
we are supposed to celebrate.

Even for those who think that increased diversity in
immigration is a good idea, the lottery approach doesn`t
pass the cost-benefit test. There is an enormous amount
of bureaucracy involved for adding those 55,000 people
every year—a tiny drop in the million-plus human tsunami
entering the U.S annually. And not much actual
diversity, considering the big picture of nearly 300
million Americans.

If we want to increase the relative diversity of our
immigrant stream, we might try ending all Mexican

30 percent
of the total.

Think about it.

Brenda Walker [email
] lives in Northern
California and publishes

She admits she loves sushi.