- President Donald Trump bashed the immigration policy of Sen. Chuck Schumer after Tuesday’s terror attack in Manhattan.
- Trump attributed the diversity visa lottery to Schumer, who authored the bill in part, and advocated a merit-based system long supported by Republicans.
- Trump has a history of politicizing some terror attacks and shootings.
President Donald Trump followed up on his push for immigration reform in the immediate aftermath of New York City’s deadliest terror attack since September 11, 2001 with a tweet blaming the suspected attacker’s entry to the US on the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.
“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 on Wednesday morning.
The diversity visa lottery provides citizens of countries with historically low rates of immigration to the US with 55,000 visas each year.
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York was one of the program’s authors, and ABC News New York reported that Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, the suspect in the attack, entered the country on a diversity visa.
Conservatives have long opposed the diversity visa lottery, which remains one of the few ways citizens of countries that historically were denied legal immigration can legally enter the country.
Trump, and conservatives, argue that instead, the US should seek a merit-based system of immigration, whereby the US denies or grants entry to immigrants based on their ability to meet criteria independent of country of origin.
“We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter),” Trump followed up in another tweet Wednesday morning.
In August, Trump expressed support for the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy, or RAISE act, whereby the US would cut immigration by 50% over a decade and restrict immigration to wealthier applicants with greater levels of education.
“The reforms in the RAISE Act will help ensure that newcomers to our wonderful country will be assimilated, will succeed, and will achieve the American Dream,” Trump said in an announcement at the time.
Trump then tweeted a quote from former US intelligence officer Tony Schafer, who said “Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europes[sic] problems,” adding, “We will stop this craziness!”
The attack on a bike path in Manhattan bears some similarities with previous ISIS-claimed attacks in Europe, in that the attacker used a car to ram civilians rather than a gun.
In the past, Trump has been quick to politicize some terror attacks and shootings, while remaining quiet on others.
Trump also swiftly blamed the NYC attack on “the terrorist,” despite no conviction being made yet, while in the aftermath of a woman’s murder in Charlottesville, Virginia at a white supremacist rally, Trump said he would rather wait until he had all the facts before passing judgment.
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