WASHINGTON, DC — Roughly 30 percent of all foreign nationals who have entered the United States through the Diversity Visa Lottery program in the last five years came from terrorist-sponsored nations, new data reveals.
Research conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) shows the enormity of the Diversity Visa Lottery program, where the U.S. gives out 50,000 visas every year to foreign nationals from a multitude of countries, including those with known terrorism problems – such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Yemen, and Uzbekistan.
Over the last half-decade between 2012 and 2016, 72,794 foreign nationals have come to the U.S. on the Visa Lottery program from countries that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has designated as terrorist-sponsors, according to CIS researchers.
In 2016 alone, more than 15,600 foreign nationals entered the U.S. from terrorist-sponsored countries. Those countries include Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and Algeria. That same year, 2,788 Iranian nationals came to the U.S. after obtaining a visa through the Lottery program.
The Diversity Visa Lottery program has most recently been at the center of public debate, as a terror suspect who allegedly murdered eight individuals in New York City this week was allowed to enter the U.S. through the Visa Lottery in 2010 before he was able to secure a Green Card.
Every year, the U.S. admits more than 1.5 foreign nationals, with the vast majority deriving from family-based chain migration, where naturalized citizens are allowed to bring their extended family members to the country. In 2016, the legal and illegal immigrant population reached a record high of 43.7 million. By 2023, CIS estimates that the legal and illegal immigrant population of the U.S. will make up nearly 15 percent of the entire U.S. population.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.
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