President Trump vowed Wednesday to end the federal immigration program that allowed the New York City truck terrorist to enter the United States, and said “animals” like the suspect in Tuesday’s attack belong in Guantanamo Bay.
Speaking prior to a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Trump took a somber tone in the wake of the vicious attack that left eight dead and a dozen hurt. In addition to vowing to end the State Department’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which is how suspect Sayfullo Saipov came into the United States in 2010 from Uzbekistan, Trump called for swift and harsh justice.
“We have to come up with a punishment that much worse than what these animals are getting now,” said Trump, who is asking Congress to end the diversity visa program.
The White House said sending Saipov to the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay would require, at a minimum, classifying him as an enemy combatant.
“I believe we would consider this person to be an enemy combatant, yes,” Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said during Wednesday’s briefing.
Even then, the legality of such a move is not clear, as Saipov was a lawful resident of the U.S. and no terrorist has been sent to Gitmo under such circumstances.
Trump took aim Wednesday at the diversity immigration program, as well as others that allow “chain migration,” in which immigrants can enter the country simply to be united with a relative already living here.
“We will take all of the necessary steps to take care of our communities and our country has a whole,” Trump also said Wednesday. “What we have now is a joke and a laughingstock.”
The President instead wants foreigners allowed into the country only under merit-based programs.
“We’re so politically correct, we’re afraid to do anything,” Trump said.