- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The diversity visa lottery is “wracked with fraud” and created the conditions for the last two terrorist suspects in both the October and December attacks in New York City to enter the U.S., the government’s top legal immigration official said Tuesday.

Francis Cissna, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Congress needs to end the lottery and to cut down on the extended family chain migration that led to the suspect in Monday’s attempted bombing gaining entry to the U.S.

Mr. Cissna was particularly critical of the visa lottery, which allows 50,000 people to win entry to the U.S. by random chance each year. He pointed to watchdog reports that said the program is rife with fraud and allows an entry point to terrorists.

“Pretty much anybody on the planet who’s from a qualifying country can take advantage of this,” Mr. Cissna said.

Akayed Ullah, the 27-year-old Bangladeshi accused of Monday’s attempted bombing in New York, entered the U.S. in 2011 as the nephew of a man who gained citizenship through the visa lottery. He was the lowest family priority, or fourth-preference category.

The Trump administration has called for cutting the visa lottery and also for limiting chain migration.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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