By a vote of 245-139, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed new legislation that would cancel the Diversity Lottery program which randomly grants 55,000 visas to millions of immigrant hopefuls annually. By contrast, the bill increases the number of eligible visas for high-skilled “STEM” (science, technology, engineering and math) workers, citing job creation as its reason.
“We want to put to the head of the line the people who, every single one of them that comes, net creates jobs,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican from San Diego, who managed the bill on the House floor.
Democrats jumped at the chance to criticize the move, stating the move is a zero-sum gain on our nation’s immigration problems, as the new visas merely come at the expense of existing ones. “I can’t support a bill that pits immigrant communities against each other,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the ranking Democrat on the House immigration subcommittee.