National Security

Trump’s Desired Immigration Reforms Could Have Stopped Last Two Terror Attacks

REUTERS/Mike Segar

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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The Diversity Visa Lottery, a program President Trump wants to end, is at the heart of two recent terrorist attacks in New York City.

The alleged perpetrator of an October truck attack immigrated to the U.S. from Uzbekistan via the visa lottery program.

The alleged bomber at a subway station near Times Square Monday received a visa from Bangladesh due to a relative who came to the U.S. through the visa lottery.

Both attacks were reportedly done in the name of the Islamic State. The October attack allegedly committed by Sayfullo Saipov left eight killed and Monday’s attack allegedly by Akayed Ullah, left four, including Ullah, injured.

“VISA LOTTERY STRIKES AGAIN,” a White House official told The Daily Caller in an email Monday highlighting how Ullah entered the U.S.

Ullah is a Bangladesh citizen that immigrated to the U.S. in 2011 due to extended family chain migration, a program Trump also wants to eliminate.

“The chain was initiated by the suspect’s relative who became a U.S. Citizen after entering the country via a visa lottery program,” Tyler Houlton, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, wrote on Twitter.

In a statement following Monday’s attack, Trump placed the focus on America’s immigration policies.

“The terrible harm that this flawed system inflicts on America’s security and economy has long been clear,” Trump said. “I am determined to improve our immigration system to put our country and our people first.”

Three additional terrorists have also entered the U.S. through the Diversity Visa Lottery program, which was established in 1990. It gives 50,000 permanent residence visas (green cards) to foreigners from nations without a large amount of immigration to the U.S.”

The White House released statistics in November that showed nearly 30,000 foreigners from state sponsors of terror have won the Diversity Visa Lottery since 2007.

Congressional Republicans are looking to tackle immigration reform in 2018. A bill introduced last week by Senate Republicans would reduce chain migration, but it doesn’t end the Diversity Visa Lottery.

Correction: The Diversity Visa Lottery was established in 1990, not 1992.