The Diversity Green Card Lottery

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program was first created in 1980, mainly to benefit Irish immigrants. Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Representative Bruce Morrison of Connecticut, both Democrats, invoked a “diversity” rationale in noting that the program would help the many Irish in the United States who had overstayed their temporary visas. The program was then changed to accept anyone from countries that don’t send many immigrants to the United States. In 1990, the program was passed through a bill signed into law by former President George Bush. This program gives individuals from select countries the opportunity to win a visa by random selection. It is managed by the State Department and has been functioning since 1995.