Bill to abolish visa lottery moves to full House

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL | July 20, 2011 | 12:30 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee has voted to send a bill abolishing the State Department's visa lottery to the full House.

The bill would end the Diversity Visa Lottery program that provides up to 55,000 visas to would-be immigrants selected at random in an annual drawing.

Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said Wednesday the program is riddled with problems, including fraud, and has the potential to be exploited by terrorists.

Democrats who opposed the bill, including Michigan Democrat John Conyers, argued that eliminating the visa lottery would essentially end legal immigration from African nations and reduce the overall number of visas available to all immigrants.