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Trump again calls for end to visa lottery program

President Trump delivers his State of the Union to Congress in Washington.
President Trump delivers his State of the Union to Congress in Washington.
(Pool Photo)

Contrary to Trump’s repeated claims, the visa lottery has no bowl, no hopper from which names are picked.

The State Department runs a computerized drawing from entries each year. Countries don’t submit names, individuals do. To diversify the immigrant pool, foreign nationals from countries with low numbers of immigrants to the U.S. are allowed to enter the lottery — hence the name, Diversity Visa Lottery Program.

Entrants must have a high school education or have worked for two years in a skilled job. Their names are vetted and checked against crime and terrorism databases. Each of the 50,000 lottery winners annually is interviewed at a local U.S. consulate before being allowed to enter the country.

Trump has repeatedly cited terrorism threats as a reason to end both the visa lottery and the so-called chain migration program, which allows citizens to sponsor close relatives to migrate to the U.S. But his administration has struggled to make a link.

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