It is now three weeks since Muslim terrorist Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov’s Oct. 31 truck rampage in Manhattan that killed eight people and injured a dozen more.
Saipov, who came to the U.S. from Uzbekistan seven years ago after winning the diversity visa lottery that gave him a green card, brought another 23 people to America as a “primary point of contact,” President Trump said after the attack as he urged the repeal of the State Department’s Diversity Immigrant Visa program.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders reiterated the president’s opposition to the program today, explaining that the White House opposes the program because it “randomly select[s] people without thorough vetting.”
Has anything happened on that front since the Halloween atrocity?
Of course not. We’re talking about Congress, remember.
Axios notes that today is the deadline to file applications for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program lottery. President Trump wants to replace the program with what he calls “merit-based immigration” and “extreme vetting.” Axios continues:
The diversity visa program uses a lottery system to select individuals from countries “with historically low rates of immigration to the United States.” The countries on that list span six regions — Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America — and can be viewed here. Each year, 50,000 visas are awarded, and no one country can receive more than 7% of them. Countries from which more than 50,000 people have emigrated to the U.S. in the last five years are taken off the list.
The United States has been awarding green cards through random games of chance for 20 years.
The Department of State has been distributing green cards through visa lotteries since at least 1987. The current Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, was established by the Immigration Act of 1990, and took full effect in 1995. Like other applicants seeking permanent resident status, a DV applicant must meet national security-related and eligibility criteria to be issued a green card, which entitles the holder to live and work in the U.S. permanently. At a minimum, DV applicants must have a high school education and two years of work experience or work training within the previous five years, and pass an in-person interview.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday a grand jury charged Saipov with “eight counts of murder in aid of racketeering, twelve counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and one count of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle resulting in death,” the U.S. Department of Justice announced.