Barletta Releases Statement on New York City Terror Attack

Nov 1, 2017
Press Release
WASHINGTON—Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) released the following statement in the wake of the New York City terrorist attack, which left eight dead and eleven injured.

“I am heartbroken for the victims and families who have suffered from the tragic attack in New York City.  Local law enforcement heroically responded to the scene, as America’s first responders always do, preventing more tragic loss of life.  This attack must be met with swift and effective response from the federal government.  We must prevent terror from entering our borders, while simultaneously seeking out the root causes of radicalization from within our country.  Those who preach Islamic radicalism must be identified in society and driven out from their safe havens.”   

“We are at war.  Radical Islamists have a goal of eradicating the United States and their perverted religious ideology will not stop based on America’s well-meaning good intentions.  This terrorist was granted access to our nation under the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which is based on a lottery of nations with the vague goal of ‘diversifying the immigrant population in the United States.’”

“Frankly, this and similar policies are absurd, dangerous, and a direct threat to the national security of the United States.  These same policies have contributed to a migrant crisis in Europe, where similar low cost, high casualty attacks have become routine.  America must project to the world we will not make the same mistake.” 

“Adopting European open border policies of our own are a direct threat to the safety and security of the United States.  No non-U.S. citizen has a ‘right’ to enter our country — this is non-negotiable.  The United States must adopt a merit based immigration system, with substantial interior enforcement and security at the borders.  We must aggressively screen all before granting entry into the United States.  These policies must be implemented immediately.”

“I fully back President Trump as he takes steps to solve the radical Islamic terror threat.  He is a partner of those in Congress who support effective solutions to combat similar national security threats.  Border security, interior enforcement, and merit based immigration is critical to protect American citizens and legal immigrants.  These solutions have been in front of Congress for years, and yet, no action has been taken.  We do not need another ‘wake up call.’”

“This is a national security crisis.  The United States Congress must act authoritatively to show we will not bend or break to radical Islamic terrorism.  America is a compassionate country, providing the light of freedom, democracy, and equality for the world to follow.  We must protect this light for future generations.  Radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to this light.  We must make clear: America will fight until the scourge of terrorism is wiped from the face of the earth.” 

The suspect of the attack, identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, plowed into pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path in New York City, on October 31, 2017.  He is currently in police custody and officials are investigating the incident as an act of terror.
As has been confirmed by the Department of Homeland Security, the suspect arrived from Uzbekistan to the United States in 2010 under the Diversity Immigrant Visa program.  Known as the Diversity Visa Lottery, the program was a provision passed in a 1990 immigration passage, going into effect in 1995.  Under the program, approximately 50,000 visas are awarded annually to applicants from parts of the world that are “underrepresented” in the U.S. immigration pool.
According to the Department of State, the goal is to “diversify the immigrant population in the U.S.,” by selecting applicants from countries with low rates of immigration in the five years prior.  Both the State Department Inspector General (2003) and the Government Accountability Office (2007) have highlighted the widespread use of fake documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and passports, presented challenges when verifying the identities of applicants and dependents.
Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11), is a cosponsor of H.R. 3775, Immigration in the National Interest Act of 2017 led by Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21).  The bill is a companion to S. 354, RAISE Act, sponsored by Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. David Perdue in the Senate. 
H.R. 3775, Immigration in the National Interest Act of 2017:
  • Eliminates the Diversity Immigration Visa,
  • Establishes a merit-based immigration points system prioritizing immigrants with skills benefiting the U.S. economy,
  • Ends chain migration by limiting family immigration to only spouses and minor children,
  • Reduces overall legal immigration by 50% over the next 10 years, admitting no more than 500,000 legal immigrants per year