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Australian gov't endorses U.S. immigration changes despite "big impact" on Australians
Last Updated: 2017-11-02 13:30 | Xinhua
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An Australian official on Thursday defended U.S. President Donald Trump's proposal to cancel the Diversity Immigrant Visa program despite the impact it would have on Australians trying to live and work in the United States.

Peter Dutton, the country's Immigration Minister has warned the proposed changes to the U.S. visa system could have a "big impact" on Australian travellers.

The program, also known as the green-card lottery system, makes 50,000 permanent resident visas available every year to citizens of eligible countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, Latin America and North America.

Trump has flagged intentions to cancel the program after Sayfullo Habibullaevich Saipov, a beneficiary of the program from Uzbekistan, allegedly killed eight people in a terrorist attack in New York City.

"The president reflects the view of the American people that they want to make sure people coming to their country are the right people; people who are going to abide by the law, adhere to American values and make sure that they don't pose a threat," Dutton told Australia's Nine Network on Thursday.

"They are similar policy settings that we have got here. We are lucky in the fact that we are an island nation and have the ability to stop people hopping on planes and that is why we have a tough border protection when it comes to boats as well."

More than 20,000 Australians apply for a Diversity Immigrant Visa every year.

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