Posted on September 9, 2005

House Panel Approves Bill to Abolish Diversity Lottery

Paul Egan, Federation for American Immigration Reform, Sept. 8

This morning, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration successfully marked up legislation, H.R. 1219, a bill introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to repeal the diversity visa lottery program. All nine Republican subcommittee members supported the bill and the two Democrats that showed up for the markup, Reps. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) opposed.

In his opening statement, echoed by several Republican members, Chairman John Hostettler (R-IN) laid out the case against the visa lottery by pointing to the widespread abuse of the program by terrorists, illegal aliens and others who fraudulently enter the lottery. Both Jackson-Lee and Lofgren complained that the subcommittee’s action was a waste of time given the more pressing need for relief in the storm-battered gulf states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Rep. Lofgren stated it was absurd to link the visa lottery program to terrorist activity and Rep. Jackson-Lee stated that not one of the 9/11 hijackers benefited from the program. The bill will now go to the full Judiciary Committee.