President Trump said Wednesday he would ask Congress to end the diversity visa lottery program, after it was reported that the suspect who attacked people in New York with a rented van entered the country in 2010 under that program.
"I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program," Trump said in the White House. "I am going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program. It sounds nice, it's not nice. It's not good."
Trump also said America has to get "much tougher" if it wants to discourage terrorists from attacking U.S. citizens at home, and said it's time to ditch "politically correct" things like the diversity visa program.
"We have to get much tougher. We have to get much smarter, and we have to get much less politically correct," the president said during a meeting with his Cabinet on Wednesday. "We're so politically correct that we're afraid to do anything."
Trump spoke a day after police said a 29-year-old Uzbek national drove through a crowd of pedestrians in downtown Manhattan. He said his plan to base immigration decisions on merit, and not a lottery, is a needed improvement.
"We want a merit-based program and we want to get rid of chain migration," he added.
Sayfullo Saipov, the suspected actor behind Tuesday's terror attack who authorities have said pledged allegiance to ISIS, came to the U.S. in 2010 through the State Department program. Trump called the program "a Chuck Schumer beauty," referring to the Senate Democratic leader from New York, in a series of tweets Wednesday morning.