Wednesday morning, in the wake of the recent terror attack in New York City, President Donald Trump blasted the Diversity Visa Program that allowed suspect Sayfullo Saipov into the United States, and Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer in the process.
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
The tweet is meant to imply that the Democratic Schumer is to blame for the attack that occurred in his home state, but a brief look at the history of the program shows that POTUS’ post is utter nonsense.
Yes, Schumer did support the program when it was created … in 1990 … with Republican support … and signed by a Republican president. The world was a different place back then. In the pre-9/11 United States, Americans weren’t as concerned about terrorism as they are now. That would explain why politicians on both sides of the aisle approved of the program.
Cut to 2013, when terrorism was already a much greater threat and Schumer supported immigration reform that would have eliminated the Diversity Visa Program.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 1, 2017
The new proposal passed in the Senate, but was blocked in the House by … you guessed it … Republicans. According to The New York Times, the GOP representatives were against other aspects of the legislation.
I’m not knocking the Republicans’ decision to nix the bill. I don’t know all of the details of the proposed legislation, and they may have had good reasons. What I am knocking is our President’s decision to politicize a deadly tragedy in such a disingenuous fashion. I get mad when Democrats try to capitalize on mass shootings in order to push a gun control agenda, but at least when they do it their hearts are in the right place. I disagree with their timing (and some of their ideas), but at least their effort is directly aimed at protecting people. Trump’s tweets make it seem like he’s focused on protecting people, but the deceptive nature of his words make it clear that it’s nothing more than an attack on a political opponent.
In the immediate aftermath of September 11, Americans united together under President George W. Bush. Today, less than 24 hours after the deadliest terror attack in New York since then, President Trump is actively doing the opposite.
[Image via NBC screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.