Tags: Manhattan Terror Attack | Trump Administration | trump | schumer | twitter | new york city | terrorist

Trump Hits Schumer Over NYC Terrorist: I Want 'Merit Based' Visas

Trump Hits Schumer Over NYC Terrorist: I Want 'Merit Based' Visas
(Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 November 2017 07:37 AM

President Donald Trump pointed the finger at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for the visa lottery program that the president claims let Manhattan terror attack suspect Sayfullo Saipov into the United States.

Trump criticized the program as a "Chuck Schumer beauty" in the first of a string of early morning tweets on Wednesday. Trump said he wants "merit based" immigration, adding that he is "fighting hard" for it.

Trump's tweets followed on the heels of an earlier Twitter message from former presidential adviser Sebastian Gorka.

Officials said the attacker is an immigrant from Uzbekistan who came to the U.S. legally in 2010. They haven't said whether he came in through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which covers immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.

Trump has backed legislation that would curb legal immigration and shift the nation toward a system that would place an emphasis on merit and skills over family ties.

The tweets followed Trump's Tuesday night statement that he ordered the Department of Homeland Security "to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program." Trump's extreme-vetting policy on immigrants entails more stringent investigative measures intended to identify those who may sympathize with extremists or pose a national security risk to the United States.

The diversity visa program provides up to 50,000 visas annually by lottery. Applicants must have a high school diploma or meet work experience requirements. It was created as part of a bipartisan immigration bill introduced by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and signed into law President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

Schumer, who was then a member of the House of Representatives, proposed a program for "diversity immigrants" in a bill he offered earlier that year.

Schumer said in a statement Wednesday that he has "always believed and continue to believe that immigration is good for America," adding that Trump is "politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy." He said Trump had proposed cutting anti-terrorism funding in his most recent budget.

"I'm calling on the president to immediately rescind his proposed cuts to this vital anti-terrorism funding," Schumer said

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the president's tweets. Trump cited "Fox and Friends" on Twitter as he attacked Schumer and the program Wednesday morning. Trump added: "We will stop this craziness."

This report contains material from The Associated Press.

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President Donald Trump pointed the finger at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for the visa lottery program that the president claims let Manhattan terror attack suspect Sayfullo Saipov into the United States.
trump, schumer, twitter, new york city, terrorist, visa
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2017-37-01
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 07:37 AM
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