Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for the implementation of a merit-based immigration system endorsed by President Trump, saying the American people “would be safer” than they are currently under the mass, family-based chain migration system.
During a speech in New York City, New York, Sessions called on the GOP-led Congress to pass the RAISE Act, legislation by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. (R-GA) that would cut legal immigration levels in half to give relief to America’s working and middle class.
Among other things, the RAISE Act would also end the Diversity Visa Lottery, the program that allowed Uzbek national Sayfullo Saipov to enter the United States in 2010. Now, Saipov is accused of committing terrorism in New York City this week after he allegedly ran over multiple people in the street, killing eight of them.
Sessions said the RAISE Act is vital to the national security interest of the nation.
“This merit-based system would be a boon to our economy and raise wages. But it is not just an issue of economic security; it is an issue of national security,” Sessions said. “A merit-based system, by definition, would be safer than a lottery or even extended family-based immigration. We want the best and the brightest in America. The President’s plan is essential to protecting our national security, while also banning drunk drivers, fraudsters, gang members, and child abusers.”
“A bill to switch to a merit-based system has been introduced in Congress by Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue. It’s called the RAISE Act,” Sessions continued. “It’s time to end the Diversity Lottery in favor of a rational, merit-based system.”
The RAISE Act would implement a slew of reforms, including:
- Reducing the number of Green Cards given out every year from about one million to 500,000
- Prioritizing immediate family households, thus ending extended family chain migration to the U.S.
- Creating a visa program for U.S. citizens to bring elderly parents to the U.S. for caretaking purposes
- Eliminating the diversity visa lottery, where 50,000 visas are “arbitrarily allocated” every year
- Capping permanent U.S. refugees resettlement to 50,000 migrants per year
The Diversity Visa Lottery gives out 50,000 visas every year to foreign nationals from a multitude of countries, including those with known terrorist problems – such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Yemen, and Uzbekistan.
In 2011, just a year after the New York City foreign terror suspect, Saipov, entered the U.S. from Uzbekistan through the Diversity Visa Lottery, Center for Immigration Studies National Security Policy Director Janice Kephart testified before Congress about the security risks associated with the visa program, calling it “an unfortunate blind spot in our immigration system.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.