Published On: Tue, Aug 8th, 2017

Trump ends visa lottery: over a million Ghanaians to be affected

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US President Donald Trump has signed a new immigration policy to end the popular US visa lottery (also known as green card).

Trump, who won the US election on the back of strong immigration programme, said the 27-year-old Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (green card) will be issued based on merit, in which the system will award visas on the “basis of applicants’ job skills.”

READ MORE: Sub Saharan Africa holds its breath as Trump endorses bill to eliminate popular green card lottery

The new immigration policy will greatly affect Ghana as some estimated 1.7 million Ghanaians take part in the visa lottery, according a 2015 statistic by Pew Research Centre.

In signing the legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia , Trump said: “This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens.”

Carly Goodman, a historian who has written a book about the Diversity Lottery in an interview with TheIndependent.ie however things the abolition of the lottery will affect the USA.

READ MORE: US Embassy flooded with Visa Lottery requests

“This programme is pretty powerful public diplomacy for the US that signals its openness and generosity,” she said, noting that many Africans she spoke to for her book viewed the lottery as aid or a gift from America to Africa. The lottery also pays for itself in visa application fees, she noted.

“Its elimination would be very short-sighted,” she said.

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