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Dear Editor:
I'm writing regarding "The Folly of the Visa Lottery" by Mark Krikorian, not to defend the value or the relevancy of the visa lottery, which represents a miniscule level of annual immigration, but because it contained more stereotypical remarks than were necessary or appropriate in a discussion of the value of the visa lottery statute. For example, his list of absent lottery constituents, is the sort of cheap-shot description that tells us only how he views immigration. The lottery may or may not have relevancy to the goals of the INA, but whether or not it is supported by groups Mr. Krikorian dislikes is even more irrelevant. The momentum for illegal immigration is not caused by people learning about the US because their relatives applied for the lottery. That leap of logic tells us all we need to know about his bias. The racist nature of his argument that the lottery lets in too many non-Europeans, "disproportionately from the Islamic world" or from Bangladesh and Nigeria, which he laments incorrectly as "the two most corrupt nations in the world," is especially offensive. Mr. Krikorian clearly does not wish to see immigrants from troubled countries. It's equally hard to understand his level of concern for what can only have been a modest amount of Muslim immigration in 1996. Several million immigrants enter the country each year so it's hard to imagine that the visa lottery, limited to 50,000 individuals from hundreds of countries, has somehow put this country awash in immigrants of any particular religious persuasion or ethnicity, or that this country of tolerance and respect for religious diversity should be at risk from DV winners.

Nancy-Jo Merritt, Esq.
Fennemore Craig