A terrorist was able to get into the U.S. legally and kill eight people in New York recently thanks to a program which offers visas to foreigners from nations that don't have high levels of immigration to the U.S.
Now, President Trump wants Congress to put an end to the diversity visa lottery which has allowed nearly 30,000 foreigners from state sponsors of terrorism since 2007. Pressure mounted after the attack in New York last month by the Uzbek recipient of the program. The White House released statistics Monday showing that since the programs start in 2007, permanent resident visas have been given to 20,739 Iranians, 7,232 Sudanese and 812 Syrians. The program hands out 50,000 visas each year to recipients chosen at random and represents one of the large flaws in the national security system.
The House Judiciary Committee wrote in a 2004 report, "One of the main national security weaknesses that experts have identified in the diversity visa program is the lack of restrictions on admissions. First, there are few restrictions on the countries from which applicants may come. … Second, under the program, successful applicants are chosen at random. Consequently, those aliens who win the diversity visa lottery do not necessarily have any ties to the United States. … Because diversity visa winners do not necessarily have such ties, the program could offer an opportunity for individuals or groups who want to harm the United States, its institutions, and its people to place terrorists in the United States. … Any potential terrorist who did win the diversity visa lottery could live here freely, and come and go with little scrutiny."
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