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A Guide to the Diversity Visa Program That Trump Now Wants to End

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Trump Calls NYC Terror Suspect an 'Animal'

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As soon as authorities identified the assailant in a New York City vehicular attack on Oct. 31 that left eight people dead, political combat over immigration resumed in Washington. President Donald Trump, who was already seeking to cut legal immigration levels in half over 10 years, blamed current U.S. immigration policies and practices for the terrorist attack allegedly perpetrated by a 29-year-old native of Uzbekistan who entered the U.S. in 2010. Trump pledged to end a visa program that emphasizes geographic diversity and reiterated his determination to practice "extreme vetting" of foreigners.

It’s one way that non-Americans can enter the U.S. to live and work. What distinguishes the Diversity Immigrant Visa from other visas -- like those for the spouse of an American, or workers sponsored by an employer -- is that it’s reserved for people in countries "with historically low rates of immigration to the United States." The 50,000 diversity visas are distributed annually by lottery among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than 7 percent of them in a given year.