By Dr. Carly Goodman and Dr. Charles Piot, professor of African & African American Studies and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University.
In an autumn marked by several tragic incidents of mass violence, only the attack in New York City spurred President Trump to take to Twitter and call on Congress to take action. That’s because the alleged perpetrator of that attack, a native of Uzbekistan, had entered the United States as an immigrant through the diversity visa lottery.
Although there is ample evidence that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens, the president seized upon the attack as an opportunity to crack down on immigration and to reinforce a link between immigrants and crime that is not substantiated by the evidence. He called on Congress to end the diversity visa immigration program.
But ending the visa lottery program would do nothing to make Americans safer, and it could damage America’s standing in the world.