by WorldTribune Staff, November 1, 2017
President Donald Trump in August endorsed legislation to eliminate the visa program which allowed the man suspected of killing at least eight people in the Oct. 31 New York City terror attack to enter the U.S.
ABC New York reported that 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov entered the U.S. in 2010 from Uzbekistan under the Diversity Visa Lottery before obtaining a Green Card.
The Diversity Visa Lottery awards 50,000 visas every year to foreign nationals from nations – some with known terrorist problems – such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Uzbekistan.
Under the RAISE Act, introduced in February and endorsed by Trump in August, the Diversity Visa Lottery would be ended.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, said the Diversity Visa Lottery does not serve the national interest, as it arbitrarily rewards random foreign nationals with visas to come to the U.S.
“The diversity lottery serves no discernible humanitarian or economic interest,” Cotton said. “It is a policy that has far outlived its usefulness and it really doesn’t even serve diversity since Europe is one of the primary uses of it. Even in past efforts at amnesty-first comprehensive immigration reform like we saw in 2013 and 2007, most people agree we should eliminate the diversity lottery. I think it’s a policy that has far outlived its usefulness if it ever had any utility and it’s time to eliminate the diversity lottery.”
In 2011, Center for Immigration Studies National Security Policy Director Janice Kephart testified before Congress about the security risks associated with the visa program.
“The Diversity Visa Program is an unfortunate blind spot in our immigration system that has outlived whatever purpose it might have had,” Kephart said in 2011. “The applicants for these 50,000 ‘visa lottery’ immigration slots require few skills. Neither their qualifications nor identity can be properly vetted. The program does not know, really, who these applicants are or their true purpose in coming to the United States. The program is a national security vulnerability and has been used by terrorists and organized criminals to not only enter the United States but to bring others in as well.”
“In most of the countries eligible for a diversity visa, neither education nor work experience can be verified, let alone identity,” Kephart stated. “Consular officers in U.S. embassies abroad thus spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to determine if people are who they say they are and actually qualify for the program. Checking watch lists based on names or prior U.S. immigration histories thus often has little bearing on making a solid determination of identity, qualifications, or legitimate national security concerns.”
In a statement following Trump’s detailed list of immigration priorities, which included the RAISE Act, Democratic leaders released a statement saying the White House “can’t be serious” with such reforms.
The mainstream media followed, with NBC News, The New York Times, Politico, and The Washington Post slamming the reforms as “hard-line” and a “posion pill.”
Sen. John McCain this week admitted that he did not even bother reading Trump’s immigration priorities, calling the 70-point list that included ending the Diversity Visa Lottery “non-starters.”