Re: Castlebar memories

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Posted by Ahem on July 16, 2001 at 01:11:56:

In Reply to: Castlebar memories posted by Emigre on July 15, 2001 at 21:59:47:

Good points Emigre. How quickly we forget the massive illegal immigration to the US in the 1980's and early 1990's and the attempts to legalise these people.

DV-99 Lottery Winner Notifications have been sent.
This year's lottery 'winner' notifications have been sent. If you applied for the DV-99 between October 24th and Novemeber 24th 1997, and your application has been successful, you should have received the package from the State Department by now.

If you don't hear, you didn't win. If you are one of the lucky 'winners' it does not mean the green card is guaranteed. You may need expert advice before you proceed. This is especially true for anyone who may have violated immigration laws in the past. E-mail us or contact us by phone at (718) 324-3039 or (718) 478-5502.

The Diversity Visa Lottery is a completely random mechanism. Nobody can make your chances of being selected any better. Be wary of scam artists who will promise you a visa and take your money. If you are not careful you will be cheated.

In particular, ignore any mail from a group who call themselves THE NATIONAL VISA CENTER.
For more info on the lottery you can visit the site of the U.S. Consular Affairs Department.

What is the Diversity Visa Lottery?
The Diversity Visa Lottery is an annual event whereby prospective immigrants with no hope of family sponsorship can receive a green card to come to America. The lottery program was developed to aid those immigrants from countries adversely affected by current U.S. immigration policy. Certain countries with a large community base in the U.S. are excluded and any country which develops such a community over time is eliminated from the program. The program adds balance and fairness to U.S. immigration policy. It is the single greatest source of green cards for Irish nationals (North and South).
Each year visas are awarded worldwide through the program. The number of visas was originally 55,000 but is now reduced to 50,000. (Congress recently saw fit to chop 5,000 visas off this program annually to 'beef-up' other visa programs of no benefit to the Irish.)

Most of the visas are distributed to Europeans and Africans. To apply a prospective immigrant must have been born in an eligible country and have a high-school education or equivalent training and experience. Those that are living 'illegally' in the U.S. can be excluded.

How did the Lottery come about?
Prior to 1965 U.S. immigration policy shifted away from a quota system based on country of origin. This system heavily favored Northern Europeans even though immigration from that region had dropped off considerably leaving many of the available visas unclaimed each year.
This method of visa allocation was replaced in 1965 with one based largely on family reunification. This allowed a system of family sponsorship where the spouses, children, parents and siblings of U.S. green card holders and U.S. citizens can obtain lawful permanent residence in the U.S.

This new system created another imbalance, however. How were countries which did not have direct familial links able to establish any kind of a viable immigrant community? Ireland was one such country which fell into this excluded category.

Ironically, this country that had had such a long and successful immigrant tradition in America found itself in this position due to unusual circumstances. For the first time in the 1960's emigration from Ireland slowed, thus breaking those vital direct family links to the United States.

It is also important to remember that the Irish have always emigrated as young, single adults and are always going to be disadvantaged by a system based on direct family ties. When the Irish economy all but collapsed in the early 1980's Irish emigration increased significantly again but this time the relief of legal emigration to the United States was no longer there.

In the middle of the 1980's the Irish immigrant community let their voices be heard in Congress by joining together and inspiring the Diversity Visa program.

Under the coordination of the Irish Immigration Reform Movement their efforts were rewarded. The first three years of the lottery program allowed a set-aside for the Irish, sparking cries of favoritism from some. The truth, however, is that the Irish were very influential in creating a program which is fair and benefits many nations and now that the first three years have passed there is no special provisions for the Irish.

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