Immigration from Africa to the United States under the diversity visa lottery program exploded over the last two decades, surging from 29 percent of the program’s total immigrant population in 1995 to up to 50 percent during the Obama years, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
The report, “Diversity Immigrants’ Regions and Countries of Origin: Fact Sheet,” by immigration policy analyst Jill Wilson, explains the purpose of the program was to “provide an avenue for immigration from countries other than the major sending countries of current immigrants.”
In 1995, 47 percent of the program’s immigrants were from Europe and 17 percent from Asia, with fractional amounts from other locales.
In the most recent year for which reports are available, 2016, just 24 percent were from Europe and 31 percent from Asia.
Enacted in 1990, the program accounts for about 5 percent of all immigrants.
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