Blow to Kenyans after Trump’s new decision on Green Cards
Over 200,000 will be affected by the latest twist
The programme enabled more than 17,000 Kenyans to gain residency in the US in recent years.
Of the beneficiaries, Africans have been the leading beneficiaries of the 27-year-old Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, as the lottery is officially known.
A total of 22,703 sub-Saharan Africans were among the 52,342 visa lottery winners in 2014 — the latest year for which State Department statistics are available. Kenyans accounted for 1,216 of the winning entries that year.
Going forward, Mr Trump joined two Republican to argue that obtaining a green card will be purely based on merit, in which the system will award visas on the “basis of applicants' job skills.”
White House Trump’s team said that the move will eliminate “the outdated Diversity Visa lottery system, which serves questionable economic and humanitarian interests.”
In addition to terminating the lottery, the legislation would sharply limit other means of obtaining permanent residency status in the US.
The total number of green cards issued annually is therefore set to drop from over 1 million to about 500,000 under the shift favoured by Mr Trump.
Mr Trump had argued during the presidential campaign that too many immigrants are gaining entry to the US and are taking jobs from citizens. Political analysts, however, opined that the president's proposal has “little chance of becoming law.”
The number of Kenyans entering the green card lottery has been steadily declining in recent years—from about 265,000 in 2013 to 194,000 in 2015.
Less than 1 percent of the Kenyans who joined the lottery in 2014 were actually awarded green cards.
Kenya depends on her people in the US who send home billions of shillings annually and this is set to shift the dynamics of foreign earning, probably a drop.
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