RealNews

Fear and Tight Screening Stem Green Card Lottery

For years it has been the annual wild card of American immigration policy: a worldwide lottery in which millions gamble on winning a green card, and with it the chance to live and work legally in the United States. But this year, with a Dec. 30 deadline looming and 55,000 green cards at stake, the lottery has attracted fewer than half the usual number of applications, falling to 5 million from as many as 13 million. The startling drop-off, everyone agrees, results from the fact that for the first time applications are being accepted only by computer, and government officials say that has curtailed duplications and fraud. But immigrants and their advocates say the falloff, while linked to the computerization, results from a variety of other factors: fear of giving information to the government online; lack of access to computers; and new opportunities for immigrants to be defrauded. Full Story

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