Black lawmakers and civil rights groups are concerned by a proposal in the Senate’s immigration reform bill that would do away with “diversity” visas that are often a pathway for African and Caribbean immigrants to enter the United States.

Advocates said they haven’t seen evidence yet that a new merit-based program is an acceptable replacement for the diversity visas, which total 55,000 each year and are granted via a lottery.

Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP Washington bureau, said he is telling lawmakers not to eliminate the diversity program when comprehensive immigration reform moves forward.

Continue reading →