Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

NYC Terrorist Attack Raises Questions About Immigration Lottery

by Countable | 11.1.17

What’s the story?

Following the terror attack in New York City Tuesday that killed 8 people debate is arising about the diversity lottery program, through which the driver who conducted the attack entered the country. President Trump took to Twitter to decry the program, blaming it on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and insisting on merit-based immigration measures.

Other lawmakers, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo notable among them, contradicted the president’s assertions and rebuked him for sowing discord in the wake of the attack.

Why does it matter?

The Diversity Lottery Program awards visas and a path to a green card to as many as 50,000 immigrants annually. Participants are selected from countries with comparatively low levels of immigration to the U.S. In the case of the New York terror suspect, Uzbekistan.

Individuals are selected for visas randomly, but they still must meet security and eligibility requirements that all immigrants must clear to actually get their visas. Diversity Lottery recipients also have to have at least a high school- level diploma and work experience. All applicants must submit to an in-person interview.

President Trump took to Twitter to advocate for his own immigration ideas, and blame Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for the current situation.

Senator Schumer was involved, along with 30 other co-sponsors, in the 1990 Immigration Act that created the Diversity Lottery program. Schumer, in fact, was instrumental in the formulation of the program. In 2013 Schumer participated in formulation of comprehensive immigration reform, called the Gang of Eight bill, which would have reformed the program and introduced a merit system that took into account multiple factors like family and work skills.

The bill passed the Senate, but died in the House.

Senator Jeff Flake responded to the president’s attacks on Schumer, recalling the legislative history:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also addressed the terror attack on Morning Joe, and scolded the president for sowing further divisions in a time of grief for the country:

Sen. Schumer responded by posting a statement about the cuts to anti-terrorism funding in the proposed budget, calling on the president to restore the money:

What do you think?

Do you think the Diversity Lottery program should be reformed or rescinded? Do you support moving to a more merit-based system?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Mediaite via Twitter)

RELATED READING:

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(62)
  • Jean
    11/01/2017
    ···

    I served a young blind woman in the Texas Vocational Rehabilitation program who won the immigration lottery from the country she was from in Africa several years ago. After a few months of rehabilitation to learn skills as a blind person, she was able to start working part time and attend community college. She started working a full time job after a year of college and has now become a US citizen and just got married. Before we scrap a program that I know has successes, let’s find out how many other lottery winners have completed terrorist acts? Also, I recall there is a vetting process for lottery winners just as there is other people immigrating. So instead of going on a racist fear mongering tear, let’s review the program to determine if it is actually has any problems. The terrorist has been here since 2010, what has happened to him since he immigrated? Don’t use this horrendous act to assist another attempt to implement racist and illegal immigration policy.

    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
  • James
    11/01/2017
    ···

    Sorry Countable member Hillary but you are not the smartest page in the book! Immigrants should be made to qualify to come here by meeting standards. Have an education. Have a skill or profession that is needed here in this country. Not have any type of troubled background i.e.; criminal from the country they want to leave. Must be fully vetted so as to verify sound character to include religious views and acceptability of everyone else to include western ways of life! Will they become true patriots and good Americans or shy away from the rest of society? Are they willing to teach good American values to their children and above all be willing to defend this nation in times of conflict? The American people at least the responsible ones demand to know this! There can be NO fine line! And this crap like lottery by ethnicity does not cut the mustard! We don't need someone else's Dummies just because some fool hearty goofball said it's fair and fitting, because it is not! That from a Veteran! I'm not going to change! You Change!

    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
  • Mike
    11/01/2017
    ···

    I love all the experts on here who believe their bigoted opinions are fact, rather than bigotry. I believe that we cannot depart from our current immigration programs. Applications are vetted very thoroughly. This man was here for seven years. No one could have foreseen this.

    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
  • Deirdre
    11/01/2017
    ···

    The guy was radicalized here in the USA so what is the government going to do about our domestic terrorists?

    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
  • Joseph
    11/01/2017
    ···

    How many Americans have to die before we crack down on immigration and radical Islamic terror?

    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
  • Robert
    11/01/2017
    ···

    I have a question, if this was a white Christian man would still be a terrorist attack?

    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
  • Thomas
    11/02/2017
    ···

    There should be no “lottery”. There should be extensive checking and investigating. The Halloween attack at NYC was a perfect example. You just don’t know who you’re letting in. Especially in a time like now, we can’t afford to have a lottery system. “Diversity Lottery” needs to go.

    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jerry
    11/01/2017
    ···

    Hillary’s language is inappropriate in this group. Needs to be sanctioned. I hear this argument all the time. Illegals commit less crime than citizens. That does not make it right. The left are always against citizens that have paid the price to live here. They are illegal. They do not pay taxes because they have no SS number unless they are using someone else’s. Another crime, identity theft. This argument is based on fake facts. Wake up.

    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
  • Donna
    11/01/2017
    ···

    Instead of immediately retreating to our corners, can we all just take a breath and put this in perspective? The Diversity Visa program was started in 1990 and allowed a maximum of 50K immigrants into this country per year. If half of that was fulfilled each year, since 1990, there have been over 650K people who have entered this country on a Diversity Visa. This is the FIRST attack by any of them. Regardless of the visa granted to enter the country, the path from a visa to a green card (which this individual possessed) is the same. Our federal government agencies apparently vetted this individual once he was in the country and issued the green card. Eliminating this program and replacing it with a strictly merit-based system not have stopped the attack carried out in NYC. The only thing that will stop self-radicalized people from plotting and carrying out attacks on US soil is the lowering of the rhetoric and the raising of something this country used to have -- an appreciation that the melting pot of ideas is what makes us the UNITED States of America. Vilifying religions, cultures and customs we don't understand divides us and puts us all at greater risk for future attacks. I do not condone terrorism in any form but maybe the individuals pushed to this extreme here are merely "punching back" against those whom they feel have attacked them. Sound familiar?

    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
  • Hillary
    11/01/2017
    ···

    I don't know how many times in going to have to help saying this. But I will say it every goddamn time. Immigrants are not your enemy! The crime rates of immigrants are lower than that of natural born Americans. We contribute to the economy. We pay taxes. Sanctuary cities make it easier for police to catch bad guys! Stop attacking us! The hard data is there for anyone to see! More than that, Donald's immigration bans, Muslim bans, refugee bans hurt people. They hurt Americans! The only person those bands help is Donald who is using them to pressure countries to host his businesses and scare white people! So no, don't mess with the diversity program. I don't trust Republicans to reform it safely because their president is misusing immigration right now!

    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
  • KansasTamale
    11/02/2017
    ···

    Nothing in that lottery would have figured out that this guy was going to become radicalized by the Internet. Shutting down the Isis radical Isis websites is the place to go to stop this nonsense. Course Trump just sees a man with dark skin. Nothing about the 500+ injured & 59 dead by a white guy.

    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
  • Karan
    11/01/2017
    ···

    James I read yours and as an Indian who’s parents came here as immigrants I completely agree with you. My parents just finished medical school in India and wanted to immigrate here before medical school and they had to wait years for their application to get accepted. That’s how it should be. It was never meant to be easy. And they didn’t come here through this stupid visa lottery thing. They came here with a good background and they are a contribution to society as immigrants should be. So good point James and President DJT, please start a merit based system. And God Bless those who died at the hands of the terrorist in New York.

    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
  • Andrew
    11/01/2017
    ···

    Ban all immigration until we improve our security

    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
  • Mary
    11/01/2017
    ···

    Stop trying to blame immigrants for our problems. We cannot predict when and where and by whom these attacks will occur. We have had our own share of American born terrorists. It is a problem that is hard to solve. But blaming immigrants will not solve this problem at all. Mental health plays a big role in this. People also saying I had a feeling something was up with that person may need to take notice. Terrorism exists everywhere. I think we need to ask what role do we play in it before we attack a group searching for a better life.

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • Walter
    11/01/2017
    ···

    Just goes to show: promoting immigration from hostile world communities will also promote terrorism in America. I know, it’s a hard life lesson.

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • Ernest
    11/02/2017
    ···

    Hillary- having read your post- let me make a few rebuttal points. First- obviously you are an immigrant by your use of the word “we” when speaker nag about immigrants. Are you here legally or illegally? Next- you say immigrants have a lower crime rate than citizens- what about MS-13?? Kate Steinle??? Third- you speak about immigrant contributions to the economy and paying taxes. So why is California (a high illegal immigrant state) bankrupt?? The answer is because any contributions into the economy and taxes paid are FAR OUTWEIGHED by the cost burdens placed on hospitals, schools, police, courts, prisons, welfare, food stamps, and costs to victims of the crimes committed in all the sanctuary cities. The non- economic costs go even further- lower quality of life, the power grab of Democrats counting on reaping votes thru giveaways, the necessity of translators for everyday business, etc. I could go on- but I fully expect that like most liberals- when confronted with facts- you will choose to just ignore the facts and start some childish rant.....

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • Brent
    11/01/2017
    ···

    Glad the democrats policy of not watching terrorist suspects closely is working. About time for NYC to get a Conservative in there. Old Billy Boy doesn't have a clue.

    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
  • ManfromNebraska
    11/02/2017
    ···

    Diversity immigration lottery should be removed and be more about vetting and not just a lottery. We should be extremely careful about immigrants from terrorist countries. Our country’s protection is more important than immigrants ability to come here.

    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
  • Michael
    11/01/2017
    ···

    This is the stereotypical look of a jihadist against us. Find these guys, export them, and save thousands of us.

    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
  • Leon
    11/01/2017
    ···

    I’ll bet if he used a gun we’d see lots wanting to ban something versus protecting a broken immigration system. Why didn’t the exalted illegal data collection of citizens not prevent this? Because it’s the action of an evil person regardless of tactics or weapons.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share