The United States Immigration Visa Lottery and its Socio-political Implication on Nigeria


The United States Immigration Visa Lottery and its Socio-political Implication on Nigeria


In recent years, the world has seen an increased mobility in people, products, and capital; countries have more interaction with one another than ever before. The United States of America plays a large role in the global economy, it becomes more important to understand the chain reaction that goes along with this situation especially with regard to the movement of people towards the United States. The severe economic difficulties, increase poverty and political instability have plagued many African Countries in the last two decades resulting in the large scale migration of Africans to Europe and the united States. Unlike their counterparts in the 1960s and 70s who were anxious to return home after acquiring an American education in order to contribute in the task of nation building, an overwhelming majority of recent immigrants are more interested in establishing permanent residency in the United States. Although these immigrants continue to be attracted to major cities like New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles, they can also be found in increasing numbers in small and mid-size cities in Ohio, Nebraska, Iowa and maim. Britain’s American Colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries 34 new states were added to the original 13, as the nation expanded across the north American continent and acquired a number of oversees possessions. Haven emerged victories after both the first and second World War and the 8 end of the cold War in 1991, the united states remains the world’s most powerful nation – state. The economy is marked by steady growth with a per capital GDP of $ 36,200, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advance in technology. America today is a federal state, a union of 50 states. It occupies an area of 3,717,522 square mile and a coastline of 12,373 miles, its population as at July 2001 estimate was 278, 0548, 881, and Christianity is the major religion. Immigration, which was American’s historic raison d’ e’tre, has been the most persistent and the most pervasive influence in her development. The whole history of the Unites States during the past three and half century has been molded by successive waves of immigrants who responded to the lure of the new world and whose labours together with those of their descendants, have transformed an almost empty continent into the world’s most powerful nation. The population of the United States today excepts the Indians, consists entirely of immigrants and of the descendants of immigrants. American society, economic life, politics, religion, and thought all bear witness to the fact that United States has been the principal beneficiary of the greatest folk migration in human history. American culture is thus a blend of the cultures of millions of immigrants of different languages, religion and mores. With the new phenomenon of Globalization the world had been turned into a small village and capitalism seem to be more accepted by many nations as an economic system controlled by the west. 9 The immigration to the United States is given some legal backing when the United State congress enacted the first version of the Visa lottery in the 80s, this lottery also know as Diversity immigrant visa, make available fifty thousand (50,000.00) permanent resident visa annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Thousands of Nigerians have been lured by this lottery into the United States, which was why Dr. Emeagwali in his presentation of “why Nigerians are not returning home” pointed out that the widely held myth is that Africa is only exporting raw materials to the west. Africa is also exporting talented human resources to Europe and America. One million African are working outside Africa. The United State Diversity immigration Visa lottery had become a major ritual exercise in Nigeria, the government is silent about this issue and some Nigerians have capitalized on the business aspect of it, thereby assisting interested candidates with information and actually sending entries on their behalf for a fee which range between N1000 to N3000 per entery. This research therefore seek to find out the impact, effect and implications of this American policy on economic socio political system of Nigeria. The research will also address the issue of immigration and how to reverse the current trend.

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