President Trump wants to dismantle diversity visa program, local immigration attorneys react
President Donald Trump wants to do away with the diversity immigrant visa program. Trump called for a merit based program to replace it, but local immigration attorneys said that won't fix the problem.
President Donald Trump wants to do away with the diversity immigrant visa program.
It allowed the driver in the New York terror attack into the United States in 2010.
Around 50,000 diversity immigrant visas are issued each year. The president called for a merit based program to replace this one, but local immigration attorneys said that won't fix the problem.
"Just because there's one bad apple doesn't mean you cut down the whole tree," Amber Seay, an immigration attorney said.
Seay said the diversity immigrant visa program should stay.
She's represented a handful of people who have been selected through the lottery system. Seay said if the program goes away, options will be limited.
"Either you have family that can bring you, have an employer that's going to sponsor you, or this is your only option and it's a small chance of even making it in," Seay said.
The vetting process has been criticized by the president.
Applicants have to go through background checks and screening processes. That includes documentation, in-person interviews, and medical exams.
Seay said it's a process with multiple layers.
"The vetting process is considerable. There isn't a way to increase it that would actually result in you catching the people that are terrorists," Seay said.
Most people apply on their own. Seay's role is helping them apply for citizenship.
While she hasn't had any calls about the president's remarks, she's ready to answer questions.
"The people that I have met that came in through this program are doing great things. Some of them are business owners and taxpayers," Seay said.
To apply for this program, the window is relatively short. For the 2019 fiscal year, applications have to be in by the 22nd of this month.