UPPER SAUCON TWP., Pa. - President Donald Trump responded to the New York City terror attack on Wednesday, calling for more immigration reform after the Department of Homeland Security says the suspect entered the United States in 2010 under the Diversity Visa Program.
"I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program," said Trump.
The president also took to social media, tweeting "We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter)."
"I'm going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program," said Trump.
The Diversity Visa Lottery Program benefits roughly 50,000 people per year from countries with lower levels of immigration to the United States.
At Penn State Lehigh Valley, a panel discussion was held Wednesday on immigration and the impacts of changing U.S. policy. Many of the panelists weighed in on the timely topic of the Visa Lottery Program, some disagreeing with the president's calls to dismantle it.
"It doesn't make sense, it's not going to help things and it's stigmatizing and targeting primarily people who need our support," said panelist Mohan Seshadri.
"The majority of people are law abiding citizens that come to work," said panelist Nagi Latefa.
Latefa is Muslim. He says he does not have a problem with President Trump wanting to change a policy as long as the replacement is fair and reasonable.
"If it's not working or we want to change it, by all means but let's do something where it's not based on race," said Latefa.
The president says he's pushing for a program where people enter the country based on merit but did not go into much detail.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Southeastern PA iStock