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,
defined 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.
- Corruption. As
testifying panelist Steve Camarota of the Center for
Immigration Studies said:
"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
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
infidels. 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
amputation. 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
- Importing homegrown conflicts. For
Vietnam War seems to have flared up ahmong the
Hmong. Those who favor more openness toward
communist Laos are battling it out with
Hmong on the streets of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
There have been drive-by shootings and
firebombing but no deaths—yet.
- Cultural incompatibility. It`s too
bad that the Immigration Subcommittee did not
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
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
multiculturalism 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,
religion, 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
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.