What’s So Special?

Maybe it’s time to think again

For decades politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have waxed lyrical about the “special relationship” that exists between the UK and the USA; but just how special is it?

Take for example the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV), administered annually by the US Department of State. This provides for a number of permanent residency visas (Green Cards) to be randomly allocated to immigrants from eligible countries. One of the conditions for eligibility is that a country must not have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the USA over the previous 5 years.

In view of this special relationship it may surprise some people to learn that the UK has been ineligible for the DV program every year for, to my knowledge, the past 20 years at least.

That raises a question; “if the UK has been ineligible for so long, how can we have sent more than the permitted number of immigrants in the previous 5 years?” In an effort to answer that question I contacted the US Department of State. Maybe not surprisingly, they never answered. It seems that US politicians simply don’t want “Brits”.

There is also an anomaly within the eligible countries list, in that although the UK is excluded, Northern Ireland is not. Therefore UK nationals born in Ulster are eligible to enter the program.

Don’t US officials realise that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom?

So, I ask again, “just how special is this relationship?”.  Maybe it’s time the UK wakened up and thought hard about just what we get from this liaison.


I wonder how a similar UK program would go down in Washington (given that our tiny island is already a heavily populated magnet for immigrants).


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