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Immigrants are sworn in as citizens during a ceremony May 21, 2007 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in Mount Vernon, Virginia. The Senate today began debate on a compromise immigration reform bill which allows illegal immigrants to obtain a renewable “Z visa” after paying a fine, after which they'd be able to get on track toward permanent residency.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is hard at work again today, amending the immigration bill proposed by the Gang of Eight. Tucked away in that legislation is a provision to drop The Green Card Lottery.
Every year that lottery gives roughly 55,000 lucky people from around the world a shot at coming to the US. Last year the program was so popular, almost 8 million people applied.
However, under a Senate compromise, the program would be cut and its available slots would go to a system that looks at skills, education and other criteria for entry into the States.
To understand a little but more about how it works and what's at stake if it goes away, we're joined by Madeleine Sumption, senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute.