From the NYT Editorial Page Editor's blog, the NYT's chief immigration reporter responds to the proposed compromise to increase STEM visas while cutting random diversity visas:
By LAWRENCE DOWNES
Representative Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is offering a new version of an old immigration bill that’s due to be voted on this week. It’s being touted by supporters as a signal that the Republican Party understands the election message sent by voters – particular Latinos and Asians – in favor of immigration reform.
Don’t be fooled. The resurrected STEM Jobs Act is a tweaked version of a bad bill that died earlier this year in the House, and it’s bad for the same reasons as before. The bill increases visas for immigrants skilled in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — by eliminating another visa category entirely: the “diversity” visas set aside for people from countries with relatively low immigration rates to the United States.
Here’s the math: add 55,000 new visas for immigrants with advanced STEM degrees. Take away 55,000 diversity visas. A zero-sum game, in pro-immigrant disguise.
... If the Republicans are going to offer real immigration reform, they will have to do better than this.
We, on the winning side, don't have to justify our demands with reasons or evidence or appeals to the common good. You have to provide terms of your final surrender that we deem acceptable.
You can read the whole thing and see that Downes doesn't feel it necessary to offer any defense of the diversity visa lottery. His subtle, carefully reasoned position is
More Immigrants Now.