PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President Donald Trump is calling for an end to the Diversity Visa Program after it was connected to the suspect in Tuesday’s terror incident in New York.
The Diversity Visa Program admits 50,000 individuals from regions with low immigration to the United States.
“The list is actually quite large,” said Philippe Weisz, who works with HIAS Pennsylvania. “Countries that are included are Venezuela, Trinidad and Tabago, Uruguay, Figi, Australia.”
Weisz says applicants must be from a low admit country, have certain education and work experience and must pass extensive security clearances and background checks. He says the program represents a fraction of the more than 600,000 immigrant visas granted last year, so limiting them may not solve the terrorism problem.
“None of these attacks are based on any sort of policy decisions and none of these are based on any fact,” he said. “Pointing our fingers at Muslims and immigrants is not only inhumane, but also inefficient.”
Weisz says current U.S. immigration policy focuses on family unification. The Trump administration wants to switch to a merit-based system.