Gambling with Our Future

A quick google search turns up the statistic that 70% of lottery winners go broke within just a few years. As the recent Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots got up over $1 Billion a few weeks ago, I confess I bought a couple of tickets and allowed my mind to wander to what I might do with the winnings (while assuring myself that I would definitely be in the 30%). Right around this time, the immigration discussion started involving the Visa Lottery and it got me thinking.

I recalled the Uber driver I met down in DC who came to our country by winning the Visa Lottery. This fellow was industrious, friendly, spoke English very well and was going to college as well as driving. My first instinct on meeting him, was that the Visa Lottery was a great program if it brought over folks like him to the US. But actually, the program would only serve the interests of the US if everyone who came through the Visa Lottery were as hard working as this guy. Sadly, that is not the case, nor is it even possible when visas are allotted by chance. Unfortunately, this is one lottery where the “house” loses.

I happen to agree with Bobby Jindal who said in the 2016 campaign that “Immigration without assimilation is invasion.” The biggest difference I’ve noticed in immigration between now and earlier generations is that back then, immigrants came to this country to be Americans. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. On Ellis Island, within sight of the Statue of Liberty (the same one that Chuck Shumer and Nancy Pelosi think is crying because Donald Trump is president), immigrants who risked more than just money and time to come here from overseas were often denied entry due to disease or other criteria which basically boiled down to whether they would benefit the US or would be a burden on our society. Why is that now a bad thing? And how could allowing such a burden to then bring over his relatives – and their relatives – who will simply be a larger burden, be a good idea?

Yes, we are a nation of immigrants. But we’re a nation of Americans too. Our nation was founded on the ideas of equality, God-given rights and limited government. Our founding documents were written in English. Yes, there’s plenty of room for diversity of all kinds, including opinion, in our society, but is it too much to ask that immigrants who want to come here be equally committed to our founding principles and contribute to the General Welfare? I’m sure that a rational immigration system would allow folks like that Uber driver to be at the head of the line and I’d be right there to welcome him to his new home.