House Committee Approves Bill to Eliminate U.S. Visa Lottery

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The U.S. House Judiciary Committee Wednesday approved the Security and Fairness Enhancement for America Act (HR 704), a bill that would eliminate the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the Green Card Lottery which grants about 55,000 immigrants permanent residency in the United States each year. The bill, sponsored by Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., passed the committee by a vote of 19-11.

Proponents of the bill argued the Diversity Immigrant Visa program’s random selection of individuals opens the door for terrorists and the program is viable to document fraud.

Critics of the proposed legislation argue that the bill works to eliminate the program entirely instead of trying to enforce restrictions against fraud, and would make it even more difficult to enter the country legally.

The bill still must be passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in order to become a law.