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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

House Judiciary Committee Votes to End Visa Lottery

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Republicans have been gunning to end the lottery for years and they scored a victory in that effort this morning. The House Judiciary Committee voted to scrap the lottery that has been happening annually for more than two decades. The bill was sponsored by Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte and now will go to the full House for a vote. There is no indication at this point that the Senate will follow.

The lottery has always been controversial. It's purpose is to increase the diversity of the immigration pool and it is credited with increasing the percentage of immigrant visas held by Africans. But it also has been the target of fraud both in the way applicants have entered and with scammers fooling people in to believing they've won the lottery and getting money from the duped would-be winners. The computer glitch that caused people to be incorrectly selected only added to the program's woes.

Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee attempted to amend the bill to ask for a study by DHS first to see if the program could be reviewed and recommendations offered to fix flaws, but this was rejected by Republicans.

Some pro-immigration advocates have suggested that if the program is scrapped, the 55,000 green cards be reallocated to employment and family immigration categories. The fact that Republicans have rebuffed such suggestions might lead some to conclude that the motivation is more to reduce overall immigration numbers than to attack a flawed immigration program.

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  1. George Chell's Avatar
    Goodlate has also been pro-employment based immigration, He sponsored a bill to remove per country caps...

    However, dont think either bill will move forward in the Senate.
  2. My 2 cents's Avatar
    If they reallocate the 55000 visas to EB & FB categories I would consider it as progress. Instead if its a precuror to reducing overall immigration, it would affect everyone waiting in the immigration queue.
  3. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    My 2 cents, to reallocate the numbers, the conversation has to START from increasing the numbers in FB and EB categories, and ditching the lottery should be an afterthought or some sort of concession to the antis. If you think it makes sense to increase immigrant numbers, then it makes sense to just do it, right? If the conversation starts with ditching one immigration category, it will only evolve into reducing numbers in others. I have heard some EB immigrants trying to argue against the lottery - well, their voice have been heard.
  4. John Lamb's Avatar
    My view of the lottery is that it is one of the last remaining vestiges of Ellis Island, where you didn't have to prove anything to gain admission, except perhaps that you weren't visibly ill or mentally incompetent, which meant that only 2% were turned away.

    What an awful development, and on the week of Emma Lazarus' birthday, no less.

    "From her beacon-hand / Glows world-wide welcome..."
  5. USC's Avatar
    The Cans have their hats handed to them:

    "22 July 2011

    Effective at midnight tonight, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will halt some operations, after the House of Representatives and Senate adjourned today without agreeing on legislation to extend the agency's authority.

    The most impactful lapsing program is the authority to collect federal aviation taxes. As of 12:01 AM on Saturday, July 23 2011, airlines will no longer have the authority to collect or remit these taxes. Please see the list below for additional details.

    As a result of the above, Travelport will cease the application of these taxes as of midnight. Any tickets issued via the Apollo, Galileo or Worldspan systems effective 12:01am July 23 and beyond will be without federal aviation taxes.
    We will keep you informed as changes occur.

    Below is a list of the taxes affected, as well as a list of the fees that are not affected.

    Taxes Affected
    Ticket Taxes
    For tickets sold beginning July 23, 2011 the following taxes would not apply:
    o The 7.5% tax generally applicable to domestic transportation (as well the 7.5% tax on amounts received from the sale of "frequent flyer miles".)
    o The $3.70 domestic segment tax.
    o The $16.30 international arrival/departure tax.
    o The $8.20 departure tax for flights between Alaska/Hawaii and the mainland US.
    The expiration presumably occurs based on the date at the location where the ticket is purchased.
    If a ticket was sold when the taxes were in effect, but the travel begins on a date when the taxes are not in effect, the taxes previously paid will be considered an overpayment. The person who paid the tax can request a refund from the airline or file a claim for refund with the IRS. Based on several court cases files by passengers when the taxes expired in 1996-97, airlines are not required to issue refunds (the taxes collected, of course, are required to be remitted to the IRS)......"

    Great job, President Obama!
  6. Nurse Waiting's Avatar
    Hilarious solution to debt problem by keeping illegals
  7. George Chell's Avatar
    With the way the things are going not only will FAA remain shut, but state and homeland security along with other government agencies will shut as of August 2. And whatever the situation, there will be no money for the wall down south, and not much money for education...forcing the US to depend on foreigners for skills until at least our great grand children's lifetime!
  8. George Chell's Avatar
    "U.S.-based multinational companies have been focused overseas for years: In the 2000s, they added 2.4 million jobs in foreign countries and cut 2.9 million jobs in the United States, according to the Commerce Department."

    Rep Brooks of Alabama needs to read this. One less immigrant does not mean one more job for Americans! Which part of that Brooks, Bart, Jack and other bafoons in this blog dont understand? Immigration actually declined in the 2000s after 9/11, but job losses and unemployment are up. On the other hand, immigration increased in the 1990s and jobs went up while unemployment went down. Of course, when confronted with this fact, they will hide behind the environment as many bigots in Australia, US and even Singapore do! Overcrowding, they will say! May as well live in the caves like our ancestors did. There was no overcrowding then!
  9. Nurse Waiting's Avatar

    This is bizarre. Federal govt (and countless others) do it all the time requiring candidate to be USC.
  10. George Chell's Avatar
    Had it not been for spouses of US citizens we will have severe shortage of nurses in this country. Census 2000 seems to indicate that 20% of the spouses of US citizens are nurses, and another 20% are engineers/computer sciences, etc. A staggering 60-80% of us citizen spouses have a college or associate degree. Without US citizens marrying foreigners, this country will be toast!
  11. gg's Avatar
    Who's Gonna Care for the Aging Boomers? Poor, Immigrant Women

    According to the Center for Disease Control, the majority of the 1.5 million Americans requiring home care are white women over the age of 65. The CDC expects that number to skyrocket to 27 million over the next 40 years, as Baby Boomers age and the 65-plus crowd becomes one-fifth of the U.S. population.
  12. George Chell's Avatar
    Who's Gonna Care for the Aging Boomers?

    May be Nathan Deal, Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce and Congressman Brooks can take care of aging boomers. If Russell Pearce stands upto his racist principles he would not want any immigrant man or woman to touch him. He perhaps still holds on to the pre 1978 mormon belief that non-whites are not as human as the white people.

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