Kenya: Trump Set to End the Popular Green Card Lottery

(file photo).

The ever popular Green Card Lottery (Diversity Visa Program) might be coming to an end if US President Donald Trump has his way.

On Thursday, the president unveiled a new immigration proposal that would among other things eliminate it.

The Diversity Visa Program issues 50,000 green cards annually on a lottery basis to nationals of countries with low immigration rates to the United States.

In the proposal, the 50,000 permanent resident visas issued annually under the 50,000 would instead be re-allocated to employment-based applicants.

Trump said the proposal would also limit family-based sponsorship to children and spouses of US citizens.

Trump criticized the current immigration system that includes granting green cards on a lottery basis and based on having relatives in the United States as dysfunctional and unfair.

He said his proposal will prioritize highly skilled workers over familiar ties, adding that the current immigration system that does not offer a legal path for immigrants who graduate on top of their classes from some of the best universities in the US to remain and work in the country it totally broken.

According to data from the US State Department, a total of 442,966 Kenyans entered the lottery draw for Fiscal Year 2018.

A total of 5,263 Kenyan nationals were granted permanent resident status (green cards) in the first three quarters of 2018.

The number includes 2,934 individuals already living in the United States who adjusted their status and 2,329 new arrivals, and comprises all classes of admission including diversity visas/green card lottery winners, immediate relatives of US citizens, family-sponsored preferences, employment-based preferences, and asylees.

6,957 and 6,274 Kenyans were granted permanent resident status in 2017 and 2016 respectively by the US Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS).

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