Blind Visa

Now is the time for those who want to gamble. Not for money though, but for changing the course of their life by changing where they live. For two months, you can test your luck. In this one, the great saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get” cannot apply. It’s now time for… The Green Card Lottery, which is given the more sophisticated name of “Diversity Visa“.

But it’s no more than a lottery. The United States give out 50,000 Green Cards every year in a lottery. All anyone needs to apply is to be from one of the countries accepted, and to have a high school diploma, or a two-year work experience. No minimum of English knowledge is required. No particular skills or education are given priority. Now let me use my frank words: this practice is a shame. I can even say more, or worse.

Reports say that there is between 10 and 20 million illegal immigrants in the US today. Many of them don’t speak English, and yet many more are unskilled workers. The country needs them, or they wouldn’t be able to live and find jobs. If all of them leave right now, hundreds of thousands of businesses will be stuck. Ok, they fill a need, and the country already has millions of them. So what does this Diversity Visa add? It brings in thousands of legal immigrants, yet many of them “don’t speak English, and many more are unskilled workers”.

As I talk about immigration, I have to mention that I am myself an immigrant. I live with immigrants and know their weaknesses and their strengths. However, immigrants vary as much as their backgrounds. For example, I know the Arab immigrants community well enough, and don’t know too much about immigrants from other backgrounds. But all immigrants, no matter where they come from, have too many things, and conditions, in common.

I have seen how many young people come here, with very good qualifications to benefit both themselves and their new country, yet they had to struggle for many years just to have a legal status. I myself have experienced this struggle first hand. I know many who started this way, then they are now successful business owners or distinguished professors. There are many others who hope for a chance to come to this country, where they think they will have more opportunities. Very bright and highly skilled young people, but they don’t have a way to do it. Wouldn’t it be better to give out those 50,000 Green Cards to some of those qualified individuals, both inside and outside the country?

I respect the Canadian immigration system. They have points, and you qualify according to how many points you score. You get points for fluency in English and French, for age (the younger the better) for education, for work experience. Once you meet these requirements, you have a chance. You don’t need a job offer from a Canadian employer, and you don’t need to marry a Canadian citizen. Why wouldn’t the US try to adopt a similar system?

As an immigrant, I have seen some of the worse days of life. Only hope and advice of friends kept me from giving up and going back home when I so much wanted to. I probably didn’t plan it right, but no good information was made available to help me plan. When you are outside the US, you are made to believe certain things about the way it works, only to find that it’s only in movies, or a good one or two decades ago. I read books back in my country, but when I came, I found that certain things changed. I wasted too much time and energy doing nothing, just suffering and trying to figure out how to just have the very basic, a legal status and a driver’s license! It felt as if I left a prison to another prison. I hated how little freedom I had in my country when it comes to politics. I couldn’t control such things as corruption, and felt unable to help save myself and my country. I thought that I can only help from a position of freedom and power, and was seeking a place where I can rely on myself and not worry about my basic rights as a human being, so I can reach up for what we humans need to focus on. The things that really matter, because we’re all responsible for all. But the more power and freedom we have, the more responsible we are for those who have not!

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