Yesterday, a 29-year-old Uzbekistani named Sayfullo Saipov plowed through a crowd and then crashed a rented pickup truck into a school bus near the Hudson River, before leaving the vehicle and waving a pellet gun and a paintball gun. The attack killed 8 and injured 11 while the suspect – who was then shot in the abdomen by NYC police officers – survived.
Following the attack, the president wasted no time at all to exploit the incident as proof-of-concept for his anti-immigration positions.
I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
According to Trump, although the driver himself “came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit-based.”
It should be noted that his has yet to be confirmed, as well as the coincidental argument that – with regard to Trump’s travel ban – Uzbekistan is not on the “no entry” list, nor would the ban itself have resulted any differently for the NY victims.
The president also further incited faux-outrage by insisting “[w]e are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter).”
Now – before we get into the absurd hypocrisy of Trump’s argument – let’s examine the specifics of what he is railing against. The Diversity Visa program is one which President George H.W. Bush signed into law in 1990 and which did not take effect until 1995. According to the State Department, the program allows 55,000 immigrant visas per year; wherein applicants – who are primarily from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. over the last five years – are granted visas only after subjected to strict vetting along with longstanding requirements for education and work.
‘Now is not the time’
Exactly one month ago today, white, non-Muslim American Stephen Paddock shot and killed 58 people at a Las Vegas hotel; the worst mass shooting in American history. Last year, New York native Omar Mateen killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub. Adam Lanza – the Sandy Hook shooter – was a white male born in New Hampshire with zero ties to radical Islam. The list goes on for decades and it conclusively proves that there is no correlation between immigration – legal, illegal, Muslim, Latino, etc. – and violence, or more specifically gun violence.
On the contrary, the very worst terror attacks in our country’s history have been committed by those whose citizenship or native-born identity were American. But as usual facts are not enough to stop the Trump propaganda machine.
“I am, today, starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program,” Trump said in a statement today, seated next to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. “I am going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program, diversity lottery, diversity lottery. Sounds nice, it is not nice, it is not good. It hasn’t been good and we have been against it. We’re going to quickly as possible get rid of chain migration and move to a merit-based system.”
This is quite decisive and speedy action on behalf of the president; a stark contrast to his utter inaction after last month’s deadly Las Vegas shooting and his base’s reluctance to “politicize a national tragedy” by repetitively insisting that “now is not the time” to bring politics up for discussion.
But perhaps because the culprit in this instance was not native-born, white, Christian and/or Republican, the president and his ilk see no issue with bombastically assaulting the war drums in favor of ignorance and cultural xenophobia.Click here for reuse options!
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