According to the State Department, there were 15 million entries for this year’s diversity visa program. This is the most entries the program has ever had – representing an increase of about 25% – and is consistent with the surge in immigration applications seen in recent years.
Some political groups – in addition to many immigrants themselves – have voiced their support for the diversity visa program, which provides 50,000 immigrants each year with permanent U.S. resident status. With this year's entry pool up to 15 million people, applicants have just a 1 in 300 chance of receiving a green-card through the program.
At the same time, ho
wever, several points have been argued by critics of the program. In particular, they argue that it entices uneducated and unskilled immigrants, and that the program in general creates a number of unneccessary risks to national security.
In fact, a bill has been introduced by Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte that would completely get rid of the diversity visa program. According to Rep. Goodlatte, “More and more people are learning about this program and are dumbfounded that we have it in the first place. Our chances have never been better to kill it.” However, it remains to be seen exactly how the recent midterm elections might impact the chances of success for this and similar legislation aimed at reforming U.S. immigration policy.