Skip to main content

Trump Calls for End of Immigration Lottery Program After Terror Attack

President Donald Trump urged Congress on Wednesday to end a diversity visa program that officials say allowed the 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant suspected by police of killing eight people in a terror attack in New York City to enter the country.

"Diversity lottery—sounds nice. It's not nice," Trump said before a cabinet meeting. "It's not good. It's not good. It hasn't been good. We've been against it."

Trump also told reporters that he would consider sending the suspected terrorist, whom he called an "animal," to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

"Send him to Gitmo, I would certainly consider that, yes," he said.

The president's comments follow a series of tweets blaming Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) for his role in creating the visa program, which was signed into law in 1990 with bipartisan support. Schumer later advocated for ending the program in immigration overhaul.

Investigators say the attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, had ties to terrorist organizations and planned the attack for weeks.

The Department of Homeland Security told the Washington Post on Wednesday "that the individual identified in the New York City terror attack was admitted to the U.S. upon presentation of a passport with a valid diversity immigrant visa."