Americans will soon have to amend their conception of the USA as the best country on the planet. At least, until recently many of people from different countries wanted to make sure of it themselves striving for a US residence permit. After the Sept.11 terror attacks number of people wishing to immigrate in the USA has considerably reduced.
This conclusion can be drawn from recently published Green Card lottery statistics; amount of the cards is usually about 50,000. According to the statistics published by the US Department of State, number of applications makes up 8,7 million this year, 8,2 million of them meet conditions of the contest. The number of applications sent for Green Cards in 2001 made up 13 million (10 million met requirements then) to the same amount of visas available, 50,000.
However, it is not only bin Laden who is to be blamed for the reduction in number of those wishing to immigrate in the USA. The US Government is guilty of it as well. First of all, requirements of the contest have been made tougher once again. Second, peculiar quotas have been introduced for some Muslim states. For example, 208 applications from Afghanistan were allowed for consideration in 2001, but this year the amount made up 45 only. The US authorities probably think that if the Taliban regime has been thrown down, then the people are consequently not wishing to leave Afghanistan any more. The reason for the quotas for Afghanis is certainly that they are suspected of terrorist inclinations. At the same time, citizens from many countries have no right to take part in the Green Card contest. These are people from Great Britain (except for Northern Ireland), Vietnam, Haiti, Dominican Republic, India, Canada, continental China, Colombia, Mexico, Pakistan, El Salvador, Philippines, South Korea, Jamaica. The situation with Great Britain, Canada and South Korea is clear: they can hardly get rid of immigrants themselves. But as for the rest of the list, it looks as though immigrants without special professional skills from poor countries are not welcome at all. The situation is quite different with China and India, as the population is really great there. If they are allowed to Green Card contest, America may face rather unpleasant consequences.
As for former USSR, the US authorities seem to be more liking people from Ukraine (4,035 applications have been taken for consideration), then goes Russia – 2,695 applications, and Kazakhstan goes third – 454. According to the statistics, number of immigrants from former USSR has considerably reduced to less than 1% of the total amount of applications sent this year. There are several reasons to it. First of all, those who wished to leave for the USA, are already there. Second, some people consider requirements of the contest too tough. And third, many people realize perfectly well that life in the USA is not easy, it is necessary to work a lot there to be well-off.
In any case, number of people wishing to immigrate in the USA is going to reduce with every year. It is clear that applications of highly qualified specialists are preferred to other ones. But do you think that there are programmers in Afghanistan? By the way, the mentioned above facts concern legal immigration. The number of illegal immigrant is unlikely to reduce soon, it is rather to even increase.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/21/42974.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969