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Economy

Kenyans to be hit hard by US plan to get rid of green card

US President Donald Trump. PHOTO | AFP
US President Donald Trump. PHOTO | AFP 

President Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed legislation to end a visa programme known as the green card lottery that has enabled more than 17,000 Kenyans to gain residency in the US in recent years.

Africans have been leading beneficiaries of the 27-year-old Diversity Immigrant Programme, as the lottery is officially known.

A total of 22,703 sub-Saharan Africans were among the 52,342 visa lottery winners in 2014 — the latest year for which State Department statistics are available. Kenyans accounted for 1,216 of the winning entries that year.

Mr Trump joined two Republican senators on Wednesday in unveiling a proposal to establish a “merit-based” US system that would award visas on the basis of applicants’ job skills.

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