This year, a record number of people from around the world entered America’s green-card lottery in an attempt to quicken the path to permanent residency in the U.S..
Only 50,000 entrants win the green-card lottery each year, though millions cross their fingers. In 2009, around 11 to 12 million people entered, but this year the number jumped 25 percent to 15 million.
The program was launched in 1990 to promote diversity in the immigrant population, but now some lawmakers are looking to end the program altogether and they could get their way after the results of November’s midterm elections and the U.S. unemployment rates. Critics are claiming the program lures uneducated immigrants to the country and poses a security risk, as well as allows people with no U.S. ties to jump ahead of applicants sponsored by family or employers.
Countries that boast a large number of nationals in the U.S. (Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines) are not permitted to take part in the lottery.
‘There is no faster way to get a green card to come to the United States,’ said immigration lawyer, Mark Jacobsen. ‘The American dream is held out as a torch to the entire world.’