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Evaluation of America’s Visa System


On October 31st, 2017, a suspected terrorist who is a 29-year-old uber driver and a professional truck driver mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the world trade center memorial, killing eight people and injuring dozens of others. The suspected terrorist is an immigrant who immigrated from Uzbekistan through the green card lottery. After the incident, on November 1st, 2017, the president voiced out his concerns, regarding how the terrorist came to America, in his tweet he said, “The terrorist came into our country, through what is called Diversity visa Lottery program, a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.” 7 minutes later, he added another tweet saying, “We are fighting hard for Merit based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get much tougher and smarter.”

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On another side, of New York in Bronx, a green card immigrant and a soldier, who was home for Christmas died after rescuing neighbors from his burning apartment building in the Bronx New York. The city’s mayor refers to the fire as the city’s deadliest fire in more than 25 years. According to CNN the soldier immigrant went back into the burning building twice on December 28, to rescue neighbors who had been trapped in the fire. He was able to rescue four people on his first attempt, but when he went back to rescue more people, unfortunately he didn’t make it out alive.

These two people in the two stories were all immigrants who came to America through the diversity visa lottery but it’s obvious they exhibit different characters, one’s purpose was violence whiles another’s purpose was to serve and give back to the country that gave him a home to pursue his dreams. Therefore, America shouldn’t cancel green card lottery visa based on few crimes committed by some green card immigrants, because green card immigrants have skills and experiences that benefit America, they are less likely to commit crimes and they contribute to taxes and social services, which all Americans benefit from.

The diversity visa lottery also known as the green card lottery is defined by the United states Citizenship and immigration services as a program in which the united states gives out 50,000 immigrant visas annually drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the united states. Before someone can even be considered as eligible for the Diversity visa lottery they have to meet a long list of requirements in order to be able to get a diversity visa. Requirements include numerous criminal background checks, medical examinations and financial stability. Also, applicants are required to have two years work experience or a high school diploma.  This clearly shows that it is very unlikely for the US embassy to send a worthless or a criminal to America through the diversity visa lottery Program.

The Diversity Visa program didn’t start recently, it has been around since the 1990’s and it was established by the immigration act of 1990. The reason for its establishment was to promote diversity of the immigrant population in the United States. As a result, it favored members from countries which were underrepresented in the immigrant population of the United States. Every year people who wins the lottery enter the united states as permanent residents and to some it is a dream come true. However, many attempts have been made to end this program since 2005, but it will be great if America do not end the program.

To begin with, my first claim is that immigrants who come to the United States through the diversity visa have experiences, skills and education that America can benefit from. Green card immigrants do not come to America only to live the American dream, but they also come with their intelligence and diverse work experiences. As stated earlier, the united states diversity visa requires an applicant to have a high school diploma or have 2 years of work experience, and so is quite obvious that immigrants who come to America through the diversity visa have experiences which the country can use. Once these immigrants are employed, they use their experiences in working in the various job fields in America which may increase productivity and help boost the American economy. According to the New American Economy, immigrants are a growing part of America’s labor force, a research conducted by them showed that immigrants make up to 13% of the population but 16% of the labor force.

The counterargument for this claim is that immigrants steal jobs from American citizens. But is not really true that immigrants steal jobs from American citizens, this is because this counterargument is not really supported by any data. And we all know perfectly well that jobs are not Zero-sum game. There will always be a change to the number of jobs in the country. Moreover, Immigrants who come to America through the diversity visa, do not come only to work but also contribute greatly by setting up various businesses and companies which helps create more employment opportunities in America. A research made by the National foundation for American policy, showed that, 44 out of 87 private companies in this country, with a value of $1billion and more had at least one immigrant or children of immigrants. And these companies include great companies like google, at and t, eBay, Kohl’s and many others. We all can testify to the fact that these companies are creating a whole lot of employment opportunities to people all over the United states. Additionally, Duke study made a research and found that, about 25% of tech- or engineering related companies founded across the U.S mostly in Silicon Valley, were founded by immigrants.   And so why then should Diversity Visa be cancelled when it is the path where most experienced and hardworking legal immigrants with skills to benefit America can immigrate to the united states. More so, when the diversity visa lottery is ended, the immigration of skilled immigrants will be less and as a result these people will join companies in their various countries, or companies in other countries that will accept them. Where they will end up competing against US companies. And Shouldn’t America want the very best and smartest people working for them and creating more jobs for US companies instead of competing against them?

Furthermore, my second claim for the argument is that green card immigrants are less likely to commit crimes.  This is not just a claim but a fact which have been proved by many researchers as well as various social-science researchers. Almost ninety nine percent of the researches made on immigration and crime makes it clear that green card immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than citizens. Reference to the observation and analysis of the census in 2010 and a survey done on various American communities by a non-profit immigration policy in America states that legal immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated compared to native born American citizens.  The surveys discovered that, the percentage of immigrant males between the ages of 18 to 39 years who were incarcerated were around 1.6 percent and the percentage of native born who were incarcerated within the same age range was 3.3 percent. Furthermore, Robert Adelman, who is a sociologist at the New York state university in Buffalo led a collaboration with three other universities making it four universities. Their research was based on comparing immigration rates with the rate of crimes over the last several decades in two hundred metropolitan areas.   Areas that were featured in the research included large urban cities like New York and also included smaller cities like Muncie. The research was spread geographically across the united states. Robert Adelman and his team discovered that, majority of the areas where the research was done had more immigrants today than they did previously in the 1980’s but have had fewer violent crime rates.  This study was then extended by the Marshall Project up to the year 2016. They also discovered that, crime rates went down even though the population of immigrants grew higher in the country. The study then came to a vivid conclusion that, either immigration helps in reducing crimes, or there is simply no connection or relationship between immigrants and crime in the United states.

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However, most Americans including the president argue that immigrants contribute to the high crime rates of this country, as a result they are great threat to the American society. A survey done by Gallup polls in 2017, states that almost half of Americans agreed that immigrants make crimes in America worst. But is it really true that immigrants are the cause for crimes in this country? Definitely not, a lot of study and researches have proved this counterargument to not be true. Instead it has shown that crimes which may be labelled as immigrant crimes are more likely to be committed by undocumented illegal immigrants rather than green card immigrants. Example is the research done by the Cato institute which showed that undocumented immigrants commit more crimes than the legal immigrants. President Trump’s main reason for ending the Diversity visa program is because of crimes committed by some immigrants with reference to the Uzbekistan driver’s incident. Even though the Uzbekistan driver’s incident is a strong example to stand on and conclude that green card immigrants commit crimes, it will be unfair to judge millions of immigrants in this country based on the crimes of one person. Let’s just Imagine a scenario where a mother gives birth to three children and raise all of them with good morals, but one ends up being a murderer. The fact that one of the children became a murderer doesn’t mean the rest of her children are murderers or potential murderers just because they came from one mother. Relatively we do not have to assume all other green card immigrants are going to end up committing crimes just because a few of them did so.

Furthermore, immigrants, majority being green card holders, contribute to social services than they actually use. Health affairs states that immigrants, paid over $115 billion and took less than that from Medicare, and by 2080, immigrants will have successfully contributed over $600 billion to help fund social security. Hence, when the green card lottery visa program is terminated, there will be less immigrants to pay such huge money and that means, America will be at a huge loss. Taxpayers are going to be harmed since they will have to pay more taxes in order to balance the $200 plus billion expected to be paid by immigrants.

More so, the counter arguments for this claim is that, that immigrants do not pay taxes but uses more of government benefits than American citizens, which makes them a drain on social welfare. A very popular myth about immigrants is that, they overuse government benefits and other facilities and as a result become a drain on the America’s economy.  However, CNN business has proved this myth to be untrue. Instead immigrants pay taxes just like Americans and even use less than American citizens. Moreover, the contribution of immigrants in taxes and other social services benefit everyone in America as a whole, it help fund much needed public infrastructure and other services that all Americans use.

To conclude, the green card lottery visa shouldn’t be cancelled because it has a lot of good offers and benefits for America. Let’s not forget this great nation was built on immigration and so far, America has still maintained its greatness by giving other people from different countries, chances to be part of America making their American dream a reality. In return these green card immigrants give back to America by working hard enough to improve the economy of the united states. Although some immigrants may end up being bad nuts, it doesn’t necessary mean America should give up on diversity visa lottery because the risk associated to it is very less compared to the amazing benefits immigrants give to the country. for instance, when skilled people leave their countries and immigrate to America through the diversity visa lottery, America gains while other countries loose.  Imagine the united states having all the skills and intelligence every country has in America, it automatically makes America a leading country and a much more powerful country.


  • Cordero-Guzman, Hector, and Desiree Nunez. “Immigrant Labor and the U.S. Economy: A Profile.” New Labor Forum (Sage Publications Inc.), vol. 22, no. 2, May 2013, pp. 16–27. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/1095796013484009.
  • Diversity Visa Lottery [Electronic Resource]: Read the Rules, Avoid the Rip-Offs / Prepared in Cooperation with the Department of State. [Washington, D.C.]: Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Consumer & Business Education, 2011, 2011. EBSCOhost, proxygsu-sav2.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgpr&AN=edsgpr.ocn773611464&site=eds-live&scope=site.
  • Radu, Sintia. “The American Dream Roulette.” U.S. News – The Report, Nov. 2017, pp. 20–22. EBSCOhost, proxygsu-sav2.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=voh&AN=126318088&site=eds-live&scope=site.
  • Trump’s Immigration Proposal Would Eliminate Green Card Lottery.” All Things Considered (NPR), Jan. 2018. EBSCOhost, proxygsu-sav2.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nfh&AN=6XN201801312119&site=eds-live&scope=site. Works Cited
  • Did 20th-Century Immigration Worsen Crime? 2018. EBSCOhost, proxygsu-sav2.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgvr&AN=edsgcl.7493100009&site=eds-live&scope=site
  • Grinberg, Emanuella, et al. “Soldier, Immigrant from Ghana, Died Rescuing Neighbors from Fire.” Https://Www.cnn.com/2018/01/12/Us/Emmanuel-Mensah-Bronx-Fire-Trump/Index.html, 13 Jan. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/01/12/us/emmanuel-mensah-bronx-fire-trump/index.html.
  • Hampson, Rick. “Uzbek Man Identified as Truck Driver Who Allegedly Killed 8 in New York City.” Https://Www.usatoday.com/Story/News/2017/10/31/Uzbek-Man-Truck-Driver-New-York-City-Terror-Attack/819328001/, 31 Oct. 2017, www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/10/31/uzbek-man-truck-driver-new-york-city-terror-attack/819328001/.
  • Nowrasteh, Alex. “Immigration Research and Policy Brief NO. 4.” Https://Www.cato.org, 26 Feb. 2018, www.cato.org.
  • Adelman, Robert. “Urban Crime Rates and the Changing Face of Immigration.” Https://Www.tandfonline.com, 2017, www.tandfonline.com.


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