The Trump administration is trying to strip citizenship away from four Somalis who allegedly lied in the process of using the Diversity Visa Program.
“For decades, the American people have begged and pleaded with their government for a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest—a system that has as its foremost priorities their safety, their jobs, and their well-being,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Monday. “The current immigration system is easily abused by fraudsters and nefarious actors, and that’s certainly true of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.”
The Diversity Visa Program has come under criticism after a beneficiary of the lottery allegedly attacking bicyclists in New York City last week.
“I am calling on Congress to TERMINATE the diversity visa lottery program that presents significant vulnerabilities to our national security,” President Donald Trump tweeted last week.
The four Somali nationals all came to the U.S in 2001 and allegedly falsely claimed that they were related. They have all since received American citizenship and now live in Minnesota.
“I previously taught civics classes, and saw firsthand how hard people work to come to the United States legally and honestly,” Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke said in a statement. “It is out of respect for those people that we cannot tolerate fraud, deception, and abuse of our legal immigration system. Fraudulently obtained citizenship is an affront to our American values, the rule of law, and all those who honestly attained their immigration status.”