Lawmakers discuss visa programs in light of NYC terror attack

FILE - This Nov. 18, 2016, file photo, shows the U.S. Capitol dome at sunset on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - A number of lawmakers sat down with Sinclair Broadcast Group this week to talk about the U.S. visa programs in light of the New York City terror attack Tuesday.

The 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant, who authorities identified as Sayfullo Saipov, was charged with terrorism after officials say he plowed a truck through a busy bike path, killing 8 people and injuring several more.

The diversity lottery program, which Saipov utilized to immigrate to the U.S., provides up to 50,000 visas per year to random applicants from countries with historically low immigration rates to the U.S. According to CNN, in 2016, diversity visas accounted for 45,664 of the approximately 1 million green cards issued.

Applicants under the program, which was created by the bipartisan Immigration Act of 1990, must have at least a high school education or equivalent and two years of job experience. People with known criminal records and connections to terrorism are already barred from admission, as are applicants from countries identified as state sponsors of terrorism.

Watch the video above to hear from both Democrats and Republicans about their stance on the issue.

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