(Sayfullo Saipov - St. Charles County Department of Corrections)
Sayfullo Saipov, the terrorist behind yesterday's deadly attack in New York City, came to the U.S. 7 years ago from Uzbekistan under a Diversity Visa Program.
Saipov killed 8 and injured 11 others when he plowed a rented Home Depot truck down a bike path and into pedestrians before hitting a school bus.
The program offers a lottery for people from countries with few immigrants in America. Trump has blasted the program and called for extreme vetting to happen now:
"The terrorist came into our country through what is called the 'Diversity Visa Lottery Program,' a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based. We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter)."
The diversity program makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available each year. People are drawn randomly from countries with low rates of immigration, according to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services Website.
Applicants must have a clean criminal record, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and must have at least 2 years of work experience within the last 5 years.
The program came from a bill introduced by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) in 1990. His bill to make a set number of visas available to "diversity immigrants" was made part of a larger immigration bill that Schumer sponsored along with 31 others, including several Republicans.
It passed and was signed by then-President George H.W. Bush in 1990.
Sen. Schumer shot back at Trump's criticism of the legislation:
“I have always believed and continue to believe that immigration is good for America. President Trump, instead of politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy, should be focusing on the real solution - anti-terrorism funding - which he proposed cutting in his most recent budget."