President Donald Trump omitted key facts in his rush Wednesday to blame Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer for an immigration program that Trump says was used by the Uzbek national accused of carrying out a deadly truck attack in New York City.
A look at the Trump tweets, the background of the program and the role of Schumer:
Trump tweets on Wednesday: “The terrorist came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.”
The terrorist came into our country through what is called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
"Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europes problems" said Col.Tony Shaffer. We will stop this craziness! @foxandfriends— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
“Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europes problems” said Col.Tony Shaffer. We will stop this craziness! @foxandfriends”
THE FACTS: Officials said the attacker is an immigrant from Uzbekistan who came to the United States legally in 2010. They haven’t said whether he was admitted through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which covers immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
The diversity visa program provides up to 50,000 visas annually by lottery. Applicants must have a high school diploma or meet work experience requirements. It was created as part of a bipartisan immigration bill introduced by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and signed into law by Republican President George H.W. Bush in 1990.
Schumer, a New York Democrat who was a member of the House at the time, proposed a program for “diversity immigrants” in a bill he offered earlier that year.
In a statement Wednesday, Schumer said he has “always believed and continues to believe that immigration is good for America,” adding that Trump is “politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy.” He said Trump had proposed cutting anti-terrorism funding in his most recent budget.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said on Twitter that Trump was unfairly blaming Schumer for the diversity visa program. Flake, one of Trump’s chief Republican foes in Congress, said Schumer was among a group of eight Republican and Democratic senators who proposed eliminating the program three years ago as part of a broader bipartisan bill to overhaul U.S. immigration laws.
Flake, who served on that “Gang of Eight” with Schumer, said: “I know. I was there.”
The immigration bill ultimately failed in the GOP-led House after passing the Senate in June 2013, 68-32, with 14 Republicans joining Democrats.
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