Africans could be the big losers as the United States reforms its immigration laws and eliminates the green card lottery, of which Africans are the main beneficiaries.
Half of the 50,000 residence permits handed out at random each year are earmarked for Africans. It is a hugely popular program that has allowed hundreds of thousands of Africans to settle in America since the mid 1990s.
Between 2010 and 2012, one in five Africans who came to the United States to stay did so through the lottery. That made it the third most common method, at 21 percent of the total, after family reunification (43%) and refugee status or asylum seekers (23%). By comparison, in the same period only 10 percent of Europeans who became permanent residents and 3% of Asians did so through the lottery.