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BREAKING: Trump calls for end of green card lottery

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President Donald Trump says he will stop the green card lottery

US President Donald Trump has called for the green card lottery to be scrapped, saying it allowed the New York truck attack suspect into the US.

In a series of tweets he called for the immigration programme to be replaced with a merit-based system.

Mr Trump pinned blame for the scheme on Senator Chuck Schumer, who accused Mr Trump of cutting anti-terror funding.

Authorities have not yet confirmed how the suspect in Tuesday’s attack, Sayfullo Saipov, immigrated to the US.

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Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning: “The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.

FILE PHOTO: US media identified the suspect as Sayfullo Saipov, seen in this 2016 photo

He continued: “We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter).”

The US president also accused Senator Schumer, a New York Democrat, of “helping to import Europes [sic] problems”.

“We will stop this craziness!” he added.

Mr Trump said in the aftermath of Tuesday’s attack that he was ordering the Department of Homeland Security “to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program”, though it was unclear what measures this may involve.

Mr Trump has repeatedly referred to his series of blocked executive orders banning travel to the US from several Muslim-majority countries as “extreme vetting”.

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What is the green card lottery?

The diversity visa lottery programme, also known as the green card lottery, grants permanent US residency every year to around 50,000 immigrants.

Mr Schumer did play a key role in crafting the legislation creating the lottery system in 1990, according to the Washington Post.

It was passed in a cross-party vote and signed into law by a Republican President, George HW Bush.

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