by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[I]t is easy to forget that immigration is the one subject upon which the Trump administration has developed something like a coherent and substantive policy agenda.
Item No. 1, after the horrifying act of terrorism in New York City that the nation seems to have almost entirely forgotten in the course of two weeks, is getting rid of the “diversity lottery.”
The diversity lottery is emblematic of our wrongheaded thinking about immigration. Here’s the way it works: Countries that have sent lots of immigrants to the United States (more than 50,000 over five years) are put on an exclusion list, and the rest of the world gets to enter an immigration sweepstakes in which first prize is an immigration visa for the United States. Those are much coveted, because there aren’t a lot of other ways for people who do not already have family in the United States or highly prized work skills to immigrate. So, Canadians are out of luck, along with Mexicans, Colombians, Vietnamese, Indians, and those pesky Englishmen who have for generations been packed into the squalid Anglo-Saxon ghettos that mar so many of our otherwise fair cities with their tea and cricket and ironic diffidence.
On the other hand, the Trump administration complains, the diversity program has been used to bring in 30,000 new permanent residents from countries that are designated state sponsors of terrorism by our government. Beyond the State Department’s naughty list, the Trump administration is skeptical about immigration from the Islamic world in general, and not without reason. The Islamic State groupie who carried out the Halloween terror attack in Manhattan was here on one of those diversity visas — not the lottery we want to win. With all due respect for the glorious cultural and scientific achievements of Uzbekistan, we can do without that kind of diversity.