- President Donald Trump railed against a US visa program following Tuesday’s truck attack in New York City. He also suggested he would consider sending the suspect to the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba.
President Donald Trump unloaded during a press appearance on Wednesday on the 29-year-old man accused of speeding a rental truck down a bike lane and killing eight people in New York City, suggesting he would consider sending the suspect to the Guantanamo Bay military prison.
The police have identified the suspect as Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant who arrived in the US in 2010, earned a green card, and worked as an Uber driver and a truck driver.
Trump said he would lobby Congress to end the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, a lottery that allots about 50,000 visas annually to immigrants with a high-school education or work experience from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States.
“I am going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program, diversity lottery,” Trump said. “Sounds nice, it is not nice, it is not good. It hasn’t been good, and we have been against it.”
Trump also criticized the US justice system, saying he would be open to sending Saipov to the US military prison operated at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba.
“We have to come up with punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now,” Trump said, adding that “what we have right now is a joke and a laughing stock.”
“Send him to Gitmo – I would certainly consider that,” Trump told reporters, using a nickname for Guantanamo.
Trump’s comments came after a slew of early-morning tweets railing against the suspect and against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who played a key role in shaping the legislation creating the diversity visa lottery. (Schumer, however, was also a player in a 2013 immigration bill that would have eliminated the program).
Critics admonished Trump for his extremely vocal response to the attack, contrasting his outrage with his more muted response to the shooting in Las Vegas last month that left 59 people dead. Law-enforcement authorities said the suspect in New York followed an ISIS playbook to carry out the attack.