29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, the immigrant from Uzbekistan who murdered at least eight people in Manhattan on Tuesday, arrived in the United States seven years ago under what is called the Diversity Visa Program, a program that President Trump and the GOP have been trying to eliminate.
As The Washington Post explained:
Each year, the Diversity Visa Lottery, as it is officially known, provides up to 50,000 randomly selected foreigners — fewer than 1 percent of those who enter the drawing — with permanent residency in the United States.
In February 2017, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) introduced the RAISE Act, which stated:
To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a skills-based immigration points system, to focus family-sponsored immigration on spouses and minor children, to eliminate the Diversity Visa Program, to set a limit on the number of refugees admitted annually to the United States, and for other purposes.
On August 2, 2017, the White House announced President Trump would back the RAISE Act. The White House statement read, “The RAISE Act eliminates the outdated Diversity Visa lottery system, which serves questionable economic and humanitarian interests.”
On October 8, President Trump sent a letter to “House and Senate leaders & Immigration Principles and Policies” in which he outlined his plans for immigration. In section 3, titled “Merit-Based Immigration System,” Trump wrote, “Eliminate the 'Diversity Visa Lottery.'”