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January 31, 2020

Thompson Condemns President Trump’s Backdoor Attack on Diversity Visa Program

(WASHINGTON) – Today, in response to the Trump administration’s announcement today that starting on February 21, the U.S will begin restricting immigration by individuals from Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar (Burma), Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and Tanzania, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement:

“Make no mistake, today’s announcement is a brazen step to begin dismantling the Diversity Visa program. This has been a longstanding political priority for the President and is consistent with what has been widely reported about his thoughts on immigration from countries with predominately black and brown populations. The fact that he has couched this political decision in homeland or national security terms is grotesque. Both the timing and the focus of these new restrictions represent a shameful political maneuver that hurts thousands of people and families. Using our national security structure for political benefit will not make America great.”

The Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the green card lottery, is a United States government program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card that makes available 55,000 immigrant visas annually and aims to diversify the immigrant population in the United States, by selecting applicants from countries with low numbers of immigrants in the previous five years. Of the six countries, four are Diversity Immigration Visa program-eligible countries (Myanmar, Eritrea, Tanzania, and Sudan).

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