Speaking to cameras at a cabinet meeting Wednesday afternoon, the president announced that he was beginning the process of asking Congress to get rid of the diversity lottery visa program. The suspect in Wednesday's NYC terror attack was admitted to the country under this program.
"He came in through the diversity program, as you know, and we're going to stop that," he said. "We're going to, as quickly as possible, get rid of chain migration, and set up a merit-based system."
A man drove a truck into a pedestrian bike path and murdered eight people, and injured very, very seriously at least 11 more. All of America is praying and grieving for the families who lost their precious loved ones. Horrible act. Our hearts break for them and we pledge to renew our resolve in their memory.
My administration is coordinating closely between federal and local officials to investigate the attack and to further investigate this animal who did the attacking. And updates will be provided as available.
I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program. I am going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program. Diversery and diversity lottery. Diversity lottery. Sounds nice. It's not nice. It's not good. It's not good. It hasn't been good. And we've been against it.
So we want to immediately work with Congress on the Diversity Lottery Program, on terminating it, getting rid of it. We want a merit-based program, where people come into our country based on merit.
And we want to get rid of chain migration. This man that came in, or whatever you want to call him, brought in with him other people, and he was a point -- he was the point of contact -- the primary point of contact for -- and this is preliminarily -- 23 people that came in or potentially came in with him. And that's not acceptable.
So we want to get rid of chain migration, and we've wanted to do that for a long time. And I've been wanting to do it for a long time. And we'll be asking Congress to start working on it immediately.
There are bills already about ending chain migration. And we have a lot of good bills in there. We're being stopped by Democrats, because they're obstructionists. And honestly, they don't want to do what's right for our country.
We need strength. We need resolve. We have to stop it.
So we're going to get rid of this lottery program as soon as possible. He came in through the diversity program, as you know. And we're going to stop that. We're going to, as quickly as possible, get rid of chain migration and go to a merit-based system.
Terrorists are constantly seeking to strike our nation, and it will require the unflinching devotion to (sic) our law enforcement, homeland security and intelligence professionals to keep America safe. We will take all necessary steps to protect our people and our communities, and to protect our nation as a whole. We have to get much tougher, we have to get much smarter, and we have to get much less politically correct. We're so politically correct that we're afraid to do anything. And that's not only our country, that's other countries too that are having very similar problems. And we have to get tough. We have to get smart. We have to do what's right to protect our citizens.