Unchained Melody

Dateline: Stupidville, December 13, 2017. After Monday’s terrorist goof up in the New City subway, most of us are singing, Unchained Melody.

No, not the Righteous Brothers’ jukebox standard from so long ago that my family tree barely had roots. The present day Unchained Melody is all about ending chain migration, an oddball visa entry system that randomly grants green cards through an annual lottery.

Begun over fifty years ago, the practice was permanently established through the Diversity Visa Program in The Immigration Act of 1990. The lottery distributes 50,000 green cards each year to lucky winners.

To qualify, participants need only a high school-level education or two years of work experience. No consideration is given to age, skills, language ability or any connection to the U.S. Because the entry requirements are lax, the lottery is a source of uneducated, unskilled labor.

As a perk, lottery winners can sponsor their relatives to come to the United States, who, in turn, can sponsor relatives of their own.  The extended-family chain gang is supposed to make the first link feel better about leaving the old country by replicating the familiar here.

Since 1990, over one million lottery winners have immigrated to the US, eventually bringing almost four million of their relatives with them. Among the four million chain relatives are Monday’s terrorist and the crazy who killed eight people in NYC at the end of October.

The stupidity of the Visa lottery is so apparent that only a government could miss it. First, why are we admitting uneducated, unskilled labor with not even an English language ability? The national purpose of immigration is to benefit the nation. But, chain migration focuses only on the needs of immigrants who, due to practically non-existent entry requirements, will have a difficult time integrating into American culture.

Yes, Emma Lazarus’ 1883 words, “Give me your tired, your poor” are still engraved on the Statue of Liberty. But America in those days, under populated and in need of unskilled workers, is not our Country today. Today, we have an economy characterized by increasingly sophisticated technology. The U.S. requires educated immigrants who can hit the ground running.

Those who champion diversity in our population should look at American unskilled workers, who have been largely ignored for decades.

Second, immigrants that are admitted into our Country should be integrated into society, not cloistered on islands of cultural separation. Chain migration encourages isolation from mainstream America because those admitted have almost no chance to assimilate.

Third, those who advocate in favor of chain migration claim the flaw is the lack of proper vetting. But, not only is vetting an imperfect process that risks American lives, it is misdirected. It looks at past behavior as a predictor of future conduct.

It should look at the environment of isolation the immigrants face here and the susceptibility to propaganda that results. Both Monday’s terrorist and the killer in October are post-immigration converts to ISIS.

Our government looks stupidity in the face and is blinded by its own reflection.