President Donald Trump is renewing calls to end the Diversity Visa Program after reports surfaced that one of the program’s winners was involved in the terror attack in New York City.
Police say an immigrant from Uzbekistan rented a Home Depot truck and used it as a weapon to kill eight people who were on a bicycle path in Manhattan.
The morning after the attack Trump tweeted his plans to end what’s commonly known as the visa lottery.
The terrorist came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
The New York Times covered a cabinet meeting the same morning where Trump detailed that he’s going through with his tweet.
“I’m today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program.” Trump said. “I’m going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program.”
During that meeting the Times reports Trump is also in favor of increasing the sentences for terrorism suspects but failed to state any specifics.
“We need quick justice and we need fast justice, much quicker and much stronger than we have right now,” Trump said. “Because what we have right now is a joke and it’s a laughing stock.”
The diversity visa program was started in 1990 by then President George Bush. The program allows immigrants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to move to the United States. Immigrants from eligible countries apply for the lottery and about 50,000 of them are selected each year. None of the countries on the diversity list can receive more than seven percent of available diversity visas.
According to the Department of State nearly 14.7 million people applied for the green card lottery last year.
Trump went on to tweet about his call for a merit-based immigration system that would do away with programs such as the visa lottery. The president has openly endorsed the RAISE Act as the best solution for merit-based immigration.
The RAISE Act proposes creating a point system for immigration and if immigrants don’t earn enough points, they cannot apply to enter the United States regardless of family connections.