The Diversity Visa program—which is registering applicants right now from October 2 to November 3—like all other immigration laws, is an act of congress. Only the United States Congress can create laws for the entire federal government, but what is congress and from where does it originate?
Congress is one of the proudest aspects of the American system of government and is a result of what is called representative democracy. When democracy was first invented in ancient Greece it was conceived of as what is now called direct democracy. In direct democracy every person in a society votes on every issue that comes up. This remains in the United States to some extent nowadays in the form of referendums and propositions listed on election ballots.
However, most people in the United States do not vote on every issue, rather they vote for someone to vote for them, to represent them. Hence the term representative democracy. Often Americans do not have the time or the inclination to be involved in the everyday decision-making of the government. Especially considering how complex it can be at times. This is why citizens vote for someone within their community that they trust and believe will protect their values to represent them in congress or the senate.
With democracy the people are able to have a voice in the major decisions that affect them in their daily lives. Instead of a king passing down decrees or a dictator ignoring the rules, the United States stands firm in its implementation of the rule of law. The government exists to serve the people and not the other way around.
In the thousands of years since democracy was created, the definitions behind it have become relatively muddled. Many governments have simply altered the concept of democracy to better suit the country’s needs, as is the case in America where the vastness of the country must be taken into consideration. But other governments have taken the term “democracy” and re-defined it as “the rule of the people (who must believe what the government already says)”.
Voting is a right that is reserved for citizens of the United States. There are really only a couple of ways to become a citizen. Either you are born in America and you are a citizen from birth without any chance of revocation or you become naturalized. The first step towards naturalization is obtaining a green card. These immigration documents allow you to live and work in the United States for as long as you choose. Other than the right to vote, the rights granted to permanent residents (green card holders) are effectively the same.
It is the right to vote and the participation in the democratic process that makes people truly American. By participating you are contributing to the betterment of the government and society. Register for the Green Card Lottery today and join in the world’s greatest experiment today, democracy.