President Donald Trump was quick to criticize Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as more details emerged about the individual suspected to be behind Tuesday’s terrorist attack in New York City.
Sayfullo Saipov, the 29-year-old suspect in the deadly attack, was allowed into the U.S. seven years ago from Uzbekistan through the Diversity Visa Program, which was sponsored by Schumer and encourages immigration from countries that have a few immigrants in America.
50,000 visas are given annually by lottery, “drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration,” according to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services website. The only requirements to enroll in the program are that applicants have to have a high school education or meet the work experience prerequisite, along with a clean criminal record.
Saipov is the main suspect for the New York City attack where he is accused of driving a rented Home Depot truck that plowed down a bike lane and hit a school bus, resulting in eight deaths and 11 injured.
This newly discovered information about the terrorist has sparked a debate about immigration.
Trump is arguing that immigration policy should be “merit-based.”
“The terrorist came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based,” tweeted Trump Wednesday morning. “We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends.”
The DV program was introduced as part of a bill back in 1990 by Schumer and the legislation passed with a 231-192 vote in the House. Then in the Senate, it passed with an 89-8 vote and was signed by former president George H.W. Bush that same year.
Most recently, Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark called for its elimination when he introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. The Trump administration has shown support for the act and has called the DV program “outdated,” while also saying that it “serves questionable economic and humanitarian interests.”
On the day of the attack, Trump said that he has directed the government to “step up” its vetting process.
“I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!” tweeted Trump Tuesday night.
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly appeared on Fox News the night prior to explaining this “extreme vetting” process.
“Extreme vetting is, we simply interview people and have to satisfy ourselves that the person we’re talking to is indeed the person who they claim,” said Kelly, the former secretary of homeland security on Monday. “It might be impossible to do in some cases. If we can’t verify, I don’t think we should let them into the country.”
Then Trump’s former adviser Sebastian Gorka tweeted Tuesday night revealing how Saipov got his visa.
“Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europes problems,” said Col.Tony Shaffer. We will stop this craziness! tweeted Trump the next day.
“I’m going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program,” said Trump at the White House on Wednesday. “’Diversity lottery’ sounds nice. It’s not nice. It’s not good. It’s not good. It hasn’t been good.”
He also reiterated how immigration policies should be merit-based.
“We want people that are going to help our country,” said Trump. “We want people that are going to keep our country safe. We don’t want lotteries where the wrong people are in the lotteries.”
In the same speech, the President referred to the terrorist as an “animal” and suggested he be sent to the American prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
“I would certainly consider that,” said Trump. “Send him to Gitmo, I would certainly consider that, yes.”
Schumer released a statement in response to Trump’s criticism and the DV Program backlash arguing that Trump should focus on the “real solution.”
“I have always believed and continue to believe that immigration is good for America,” the senator said in a statement. “President Trump, instead of politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy, should be focusing on the real solution – anti-terrorism funding – which he proposed cutting in his most recent budget.”
Author’s note: I bet as authorities do some digging into the terrorist’s past they will find something deplorable. Instead, this DV program had limited requirements for applicants. This will only strengthen Trumps position on immigration.
Editor’s note: The days of allowing anyone into our country without regard for skills and character must come to an end. We have too many enemies and terrorists are too capable.