Donald Trump took aim at Democrats and an immigration lottery program in the wake of the New York terrorist attack on Wednesday morning – prompting accusations he was immediately politicising the tragedy.
“The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty,” the US president posted at 7.24am ET, referring to the Democratic Senate minority leader, a fellow New Yorker. “I want merit based.”
Trump was apparently responding to unconfirmed media reports that Sayfullo Saipov, the alleged attacker, had entered the US from Uzbekistan under a programme called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.
Also known as the green card lottery, the state department programme grants 50,000 visas each year to people from parts of the world with relatively low immigration rates over the previous five years. Schumer was one of the architects of the plan in 1990 and it took effect in 1995.
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