Trump Administration Amplifies Push to End Chain Migration and Visa Lottery After Attack



Following Monday’s New York City subway attack, the Trump administration is amplifying its push to end chain migration and the visa lottery. The administration is standing united after officials reported that the suspect, 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, came to the United States from Bangladesh in 2011 under the most remote chain migration visa category, originating from his aunt’s lottery visa.

On December 8, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Francis Cissna called for immigration reform that ends chain migration and the visa lottery in an op-ed. “When considering who to invite into our country as immigrants, our nation should focus on people’s merit: their skills, education and what they can contribute. Not luck or lotteries,” Cissna wrote.

Cissna explained that immigrant lottery winners are chosen at random. He also noted that foreign nationals from countries that are state sponsors of terrorism are allowed to apply for the lottery, which awards 50,000 green cards annually. Once a lottery winner receives a green card, they are immediately able to start sponsoring other family members, who, in turn, may sponsor their own extended family members. After five years, a lottery winner is eligible to become U.S. citizen, enabling them to then sponsor an even wider range of distant relatives.

“Over time, the combination of the diversity visa program and the laws allowing extended family migration result in the admission of hundreds of thousands of immigrants without any assessment of whether their job skills meet any sort of U.S. economic need and without any consideration of the immigrants’ age, education, English language ability, or close connection to the United States,” said Cissna. “In the years since 9/11, multiple diversity visa immigrants have perpetrated or been convicted of terrorism-related acts in the United States,” he continued.

President Trump issued a statement shortly following yesterday’s attack. The president urged Congress to prioritize national security and immigrants who are able to contribute to the economy over immigrants who have little to no ties to the United States. “Today’s terror suspect entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is incompatible with national security,” Trump stated.  “The terrible harm that this flawed system inflicts on America’s security and economy has long been clear.  I am determined to improve our immigration system to put our country and our people first,” he added.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is also supporting ending chain migration and the visa lottery. In a statement, Sessions echoed the president’s call for reforms. “The President is exactly correct about the changes we need to our immigration system. We have now seen two terrorist attacks in New York City in less than two months that were carried out by people who came here as the result of our failed immigration policies that do not serve the national interest—the diversity lottery and chain migration,” Sessions stated.

FAIR urges its members to contact their members of Congress and urge them to end chain migration and eliminate the visa lottery. It is time for Congress to prioritize the interests and safety of American citizens.

About Author

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An attorney by trade, Elizabeth brings a deep understanding of the variety of statutes that govern U.S. immigration law to FAIR’s Government Relations department. In her current role, she reviews and analyzes federal legislation and regulations, as well as conducts research on a wide variety of legal and immigration-related topics. Elizabeth also represents FAIR before Congress and the administration, with a focus on developing and implementing FAIR’s advocacy strategy as it pertains to federal agencies with immigration jurisdiction. She also advises other FAIR departments on executive branch developments to coordinate messaging to advance the organization’s goals. Elizabeth joined FAIR in 2012 as a member of the State and Local department, where she assisted state and local legislators draft constitutionally sound legislation and develop strategies to advance such legislation. She holds a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy from Rutgers University. Elizabeth is a member of the District of Columbia and Virginia bars.

8 Comments

  1. Pingback: New National Security Strategy Eyes Immigration | ImmigrationReform.com

  2. avatar

    Help with better provisions against the natural elements and increase our border patrol and help them

  3. avatar

    Save American lives. Get rid of chain migration and the visa lottery
    . Do not allow anyone in to this country without knowing their background, and everything about them.
    They need to have money to be self supporting we cannot afford to provide for them all. I believe we paying. Between one and two billions dollars to take care of the illegals we already have
    . They should also sign an oath that they will follow American laws(not sharia) and that they will assimilate. To American culture. They will not demand to have Islam in the school s and not try to convert us.

    • avatar

      Chain migration does not bring quality to the United States. And the chain Lottery or whatever it was called that’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of that would lead a pathway to becoming a citizen a lottery winner is not the way you become an American citizen. We have immigration laws in place now that need to be enforced doing it this way is ridiculously dangerous for the United States

  4. avatar

    From an article in The Global Times about what China is doing to secure its borders:

    PLA border troops fortified
    By Shan Jie and Huang Jingjing

    Even in peacetime, China’s border troops are tasked with protecting the country’s sovereignty and security under some of the most challenging conditions.

    Unlike many other countries such as the US, China shares a border with 14 countries with different political orientations, Xu Guangyu, a retired rear admiral and a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times on Monday.

    With a border stretching more than 22,000 kilometers and a coastline of more than 18,000 kilometers, China is one of the countries with the largest number of neighbors and the longest land borders, according to a national defense white paper released by the State Council Information Office of China in 2013.

    —The border is mainly defended today by border security forces of the People’s Armed Police Force, together with local PLA troops, stationed at border posts and remote islands, Xu said.

    —China has signed border cooperation agreements with seven countries, and established mechanisms with 12 countries for border defense talks and meetings, according to the white paper.

    The PLA’s border and coastal defense forces promote friendly cooperation in joint patrols, guard duties and joint control-management drills with those from Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Vietnam.

    —“Besides maintaining regular entry and exit work, border defense troops are also required to crack down on international crimes like terrorism and illegal drugs trade,” Xu noted.

    Arduous task

    China’s armed forces defend China’s land borders and maritime areas, and the task of safeguarding border and coastal security is arduous and complicated, the white paper said.

    “The border troops are working and living under very tough conditions. For instance, in the southern border, troops have to stay in jungles and mountains, and those stationed in the highlands of western China have to endure extremely low temperatures,” Xu noted.

    “Plateaus form the border areas of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Some places we patrol are as high as 6,000 meters above sea level,” an officer surnamed Xu said, who has served for 12 years in the army.

    “It snows frequently in summer and in winter, with temperatures dropping to as low as -40 C,” Xu said.

    “Each patrol covers as much as 200 kilometers over three to four days. We eat together and stay in small clay houses or tents,” he said.

    “However, the living conditions of border defense troops have been improving with the increase in subsidies.” Xu added.

    “My colleagues and I readily go to work in the tough environment, because we take pride in guarding the border,” Xu said, adding that “we live a harsh life, but we face the difficulties together.”

    • avatar

      Help with better provisions against the natural elements and increase our border patrol and help them