Schumer: I Saw Benefits Of Diversity Visa Program While Riding ‘My Bike’

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Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer stood up on the Senate floor in 2006 to say that he witnessed the benefits of the Diversity Visa Program while riding his “bike” around New York City.

Eleven years later, a beneficiary of this program allegedly killed eight while mowing down bicyclists with a rented truck.


“As a Member of the House, I helped create this program, which my colleague, Senator Kennedy, created in the Senate in 1990. It had a very simple purpose, and that was this. Our immigration laws were based on family reunification and certain other qualifications, so there were whole ranges of countries from which people could not get visas,” Sen. Schumer said in May 2006 while opposing an amendment that he said would end “the original purpose of the diversity visa program.”

“So this is an excellent program. Nobody has said it has done a bad job,” the senator said. “As I ride my bike around New York City on the weekends, I see what immigrants do for America. This program has dramatically helped.”

Sayfullo Saipov, a 29 year old Uzbekistan national, gained a permanent resident visa (green card) in 2010 through the Diversity Visa Lottery, which President Trump wants to end. Saipov allegedly drove a rented U-Haul truck down a New York City bike path Tuesday and killed eight. He reportedly did so in the name of the Islamic State.

“The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty,” Trump tweeted Wednesday.


You can watch Schumer’s entire remarks here.