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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 Über 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 Über dri­ver to be at the head of the line and I’d be right there to wel­come him to his new home.

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.