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Green card lottery would be axed under Gang of Eight immigration bill

by Take Two®

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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. Alex Wong/Getty Images

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.

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