Magazine September 19, 2011, Issue

Who’s Next?

(Eachat/Getty Images)
A lottery is no way to pick who gets to be American

Imagine a corporation that hired people without reading their résumés, or a major university that drew admissions applications from a hat, or a sports team that filled its roster by sticking pins into the local phone book. These images are a good way to begin thinking about the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which the House Judiciary Committee recently recommended abolishing.

Each year, the U.S. admits about 50,000 immigrants who have literally won the lottery, the luckiest 1 percent or so of those who put their names into the giant State Department hat, hoping to win a green card. But unlike the

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A review of Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy–Nixon to Obama–McCain, by Jim Lehrer.

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