On Monday, a failed terrorist bombing at New York City’s Port Authority occurred. The alleged attacker, Akayed Ullah is an immigrant from Uzbekistan and holds an F43 visa – reserved for nieces and nephews of citizens— which the current administration refers to as a form of “extended-family chain migration”. His uncle came to the U.S. on a diversity lottery visa, and eventually became a citizen, allowing him to sponsor Ullah.
The attack sparked further discussion about legal immigration policy, especially from Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions renewed his sentiments about ending “chain-migration” and the diversity lottery, and placing a larger emphasis on merit-based immigration. Merit based immigration would favor highly skilled workers entering the United States. Sessions used recent terrorist attacks as well as the MS-13 gang as examples of why these visa programs should be terminated.
Our Verdict: Sessions used examples of terrorists as a means to ending two immigration programs that are aimed at diversifying our country and reunifying families. As is common with the Trump administration, Sessions capitalized on fear as a way of pushing his agenda of a merit-based visa program.