President Donald Trump called for the end of a U.S. visa program Tuesday after a man believed to be connected to ISIS used his rented truck to deliberately mow down cyclists on a popular bike path in Lower Manhattan. It happened just minutes from the World Trade Center.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was shot in the stomach by New York Police, and is expected to survive. The incident that police are calling an act of terror left 8 people dead and 11 others injured.
“We need quick justice and we need strong justice. What we have now is a joke and a laughing stock,” he said. The president said he would ask Congress to eliminate the Diversity Visa Lottery Program--the program that Saipov used to enter the U.S. Trump is demanding a “merit-based” immigration system.
“We do not want chain migration where someone like him will be able to bring in many, many members of his family. We don’t want that,” Trump said.
A handwritten note in Arabic, reportedly recovered from the scene, referred to the Islamic State enduring forever.
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff told MSNBC on Wednesday that Saipov was a green card holder and that he had no new information. “I think it’s absurd to be using it (diversity visa) as part of a debate. There are legitimate reasons on how many to take as immigrants on diversity, and how many to take on merit. I’ve never heard this used in terms of security.”
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, who created the diversity visa program, attacked the president for dividing the country. “He proposed to cut funds (to fight terrorism) in his most recent budget,” Schumer said. He is calling on the president to rescind the diversity visa ban immediately
Trump said he would consider sending Saipov to Gitmo Prison, where terrorist suspects are kept in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.