During his second State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump reminded the audience that, “in recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration.” While he did not mention the terrorist attacks in question – and did not note the radical Islamic ideology that inspired both of them – this appears to be a reference to terrorists Sayfullo Saipov and Akayed Ullah.
Saipov, 29, rented a vehicle and used it to mow down pedestrians in New York on Halloween this year, killing eight and injuring 11. Saipov entered the country from Uzbekistan through the Diversity Visa Lottery in 2010. According to the State Department, anyone from “countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States” is eligible to enter the lottery.
Akayed Ullah, 27, attempted a suicide bombing in a subway tunnel under New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal on December 11. Ullah failed, injuring only himself. He entered the United States from Bangladesh with an F43 family immigrant visa in 2011. This visa allows extended family members to sponsor relatives abroad and let them in, a process known as “chain migration.”