Thousands from Terror-Sponsoring Nations Entering U.S. on ‘Diversity Visas’

In the wake of the botched Christmas Day terror attack, members of Congress are worried that extremists could use the State Department’s diversity visa lottery as a means of getting to the U.S.

by Joseph Abrams
January 7, 2010

The State Department is planning to welcome thousands of immigrants from terror-watch list countries into the United States this year through a “diversity visa” lottery — a giant legal loophole some lawmakers say is a “serious national security threat” that has gone unchecked for years.

Ostensibly designed to increase ethnic diversity among immigrants, the program invites in thousands of poorly educated laborers with few job skills — and that’s only the beginning of its problems, according to lawmakers and government investigations.

“There are a lot of holes in this program in terms of security and in terms of fraud,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who has written legislation aimed at killing the lottery.

Now, in the wake of the botched Christmas Day terror attack that emerged from Nigeria and Yemen, members of Congress are worried the system could be vulnerable to radicals looking to “play” the visa lottery as a means of reaching the U.S…

…Among the winners for 2010 are:

Nigeria: 6,006
Iran: 2,773
Algeria: 1,957
Sudan: 1,084
Afghanistan: 345
Cuba: 298
Somalia: 229
Lebanon: 181
Libya: 152
Iraq: 142
Saudi Arabia: 104
Syria: 98
Yemen: 72

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