Usual debates about the diversity visa (DV) programme revolve around the impact of DV initiated mass migration on African countries’ development, on whether the programme sufficiently diversifies U.S. immigrant streams, and on whether there is a tradeoff in immigrant quality for diversity. This article seeks to extend the focus of these debates by examining the impact of the diversity visa programme on DV migrants at the micro-level pre- and post-migration. Based on in-depth interviews with sixty-one diversity visa lottery winners from Ghana and Nigeria, the article examines how this immigration policy has become a contextual determinant of immigrant incorporation. It argues that an account of the impact of immigration policies on immigrants pre- and post-migration must be added to theorization of state agency in shaping migration flows. It concludes with a discussion on ways the diversity visa programme can be modified to facilitate incorporation of DV migrants in the United States.
ASJC Scopus subject areas