White House says Trump's jab at Schumer wasn't 'political'

Mayor Bill De Blasio D New York City

Mayor Bill De Blasio D New York City

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Trump called the visa programme "a Chuck Schumer beauty", a reference to the Senate's Democratic leader. "I want to know the facts".

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr Trump proposed a total ban on Muslim immigration to the US before embracing "extreme vetting". "It's not good", the president added.

Turning to immigration politics shortly after a terrorist attack has become a pattern for Trump.

Why is the program coming under scrutiny?

That sentiment seemed to spark Trump's interest in sending Saipov, a U.S. resident since 2010, to the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which houses alleged enemy combatants seized overseas. It moved from a country-by-country quota system to neutral country-of-origin selection criteria for green cards.

The merit-based immigration policy, named Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment, would curb low-level immigration by examining the age, level of education, salary and English proficiency of visa applicants.

Saipov was shot by a police officer while attempting to flee minutes after the attack and was whisked away to a local hospital, where he was recovering from an abdominal wound.

Who comes in through the lottery?

Following the attack in Lower Manhattan yesterday, President Trump has renewed his plea to reform immigration into a "merit-based" system.

Schumer played a role in the program's conception in the 1990s.

The process also includes an in-person interview.

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A State Department deputy inspector general warned in 2004 that the diversity visa lottery "contains significant vulnerabilities to national security" from state sponsors of terrorism.

Both de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said they had received phone calls and offers of federal assistance from acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, and de Blasio said he had also spoken Tuesday to White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert.

The visas are distributed further by regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America (other than Mexico), Oceania and South America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

In his rebuke of the criminal justice system, Trump suggested that it was partially at fault for terrorist acts.

Another of the eight, Republican Sen.

In addition, Trump's director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, voted for the conference report.

The final bill passed the Senate 89-8 and the House 264-118. The Republican yes votes included Rohrabacher and Ros-Lehtinen, along with two other GOP lawmakers still serving, Joe Barton of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan.

It was not clear what program the President was referring to. This is not to mention that Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has publicly welcomed refugees, while Trump has capped America's refugee quota to 45,000, the lowest number in almost 40 years.

"We have to do what's right to protect our citizens", he told reporters. Like Flake, Graham said "I was there".

In August, Trump embraced legislation that would dramatically reduce legal immigration and shift the nation toward a system that prioritizes merit and skills over family ties. "That only makes the situation worse".

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