Time to end diversity visas

Reno Gazette Journal November 12, 2017


Last week, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, who entered this country on a diversity visa, used a rented Home Depot truck to plow through a popular lower Manhattan bike path killing 8 people and injuring 12 others. Saipov, who entered the U.S. through a Diversity Visa program, then got out of the truck yelling “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for Allah is great) before being shot by police and taken into custody. It has been reported that he asked investigators if he could display an ISIS flag in his hospital room.

This attack using a truck to kill innocent people is nothing new for ISIS. The attack in New York City was preceded by truck attacks in Nice, Berlin, London, Stockholm and Barcelona. However, this attack in NYC has reignited questions about the Diversity Visa program, which uses a lottery system to grant 50,000 green cards every year to citizens of countries from which there is little immigration to the U.S. 50,000 visas may sound like a small number given that over 600,000 immigrant visas are issued every year but, remember, each of those visas can trigger chain immigration where one immigrant can turn around and sponsor several family members who can then reciprocally sponsor other family members.

This obsession with diversity at every turn is bizarre. There is no evidence that diversity based on ethnicity or national origin would make us better in any way. If anything, it sets us back. It is one thing to tolerate diversity, another to mandate it at the risk of endangering ourselves. Mandating diversity makes us a collection of subcultures instead of one united country. It impedes immigrants from becoming assimilated into the American way of life and encourages them to form their own mini-communities and continue allegiance to their country of origin. Such mini-communities slow down the ability of immigrants to speak English as they continue to speak their native language resulting in higher levels of funding for English as a second language programs. More importantly, immigration should be based on who can make this country better, not skin color or national origin. Whatever happened to judging someone based on the content of the character and not on the color of their skin?

One final point: Upon arrest, this alleged terrorist was processed through the criminal justice system. In other words, he was read his Miranda rights and allowed to lawyer up. The Benghazi terrorist who killed Ambassador Chris Stephens and three others was recently captured and brought to New York to be processed through the criminal justice system. The reading of Miranda rights essentially means that the case is going to trial and law enforcement would like to use the criminal’s words against him. Terrorism is not a law enforcement matter and terrorists do not deserve Miranda rights. Neither should they be prosecuted using the criminal justice system. ISIS terrorists should be declared as enemy combatants and should be transported to Guantanamo Bay and interrogated using any and all means necessary to identify and stop future attacks. A 2004 Supreme Court ruling gives the President the authority to do that and he should exercise his authority.