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Senator Chuck Schumer is still defending this flawed program.

Senator Chuck Schumer is still defending this flawed program.

The Visa Lottery Program, implemented in 1990 by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has recently come under fire, at least by those paying attention. The Halloween terror attack in New York was carried out by Sayfullo Saipov, a winner of that lottery system.

Today the White House announced that State Department statistics show that since in nine years, nearly 30,000 visas were issued to people from nations that sponsor terrorism.

Only three countries are currently officially designated as “state sponsors of terrorism,” Iran, Sudan, and Syria. Since 2007, records show the following numbers have been given visas:

  • Iran – 20,739
  • Sudan – 7,232
  • Syria – 812

The program awards 50,000 visas each year “drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration.” So should that mean that if an application is drawn and the person is from one of these three countries, officials are forbidden from designating that as too risky? That simply seems ludicrous.

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The lottery program became part of a much bigger bill about immigration. It was a bipartisan proposal at that time and was passed in a similar vote. President George H.W. Bush signed it into law. Since then, terror has become a much more real part of life in America. Shouldn’t a law that might endanger citizens be reconsidered? That is what President Trump believes but he is hardly the first one to suggest this.

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In 2004, the State Department deputy inspector general warned the program presented “significant threats to national security as hostile intelligence officers, criminals, and terrorists attempt to use it” to enter the U.S.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for a “rational” system;

“A merit-based system, by definition, would be safer than a lottery or even extended family-based immigration. We don’t use random chance in college admissions and we don’t roll a die to hire people

Even lawmakers who are not usually in agreement with President Trump over anything seemed to fall in line with this issue. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stated the New York attack highlighted the need for “merit-based immigration” and that random distribution “makes no sense.”

Senator John McCain said the visa lottery should be replaced with a merit-based system. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) included the elimination of the Diversity Visa Lottery Program in the RAISE Act. Senator Perdue said;

“While Senate Democrats originally created the Diversity Visa Lottery in 1990, many have supported legislation that would have eliminated it in the years since. I hope we can include this area of common ground as we work to fix our broken immigration system and strengthen our national security.”

Source: Fox News