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What Is Chain Migration? Trump Says Saipov Is 'Chain Migrant'

U.S. President Donald Trump / Sayfullo Saipov (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images / NYPD)

Following the attack in Lower Manhattan by ISIS-sympathizer Sayfullo Saipov, President Trump said the attacker was part of "chain migration." Trump said during a news conference about the attack that left 8 dead, "This man that came in—or whatever you want to call him—brought in with him other people. And he was the primary point of contact for... 23 people... We want to get rid of 'chain migration.'" Trump then said he will be asking Congress to get rid of chain migration immediately.


On Halloween afternoon, Saipov deliberately drove a rented Home Depot van down a bike path for a mile in the Tribeca area of Manhattan. After the attack, Saipov leaped out of the van with a BB or pellet gun and shouted, "Allahu akbar," or, "God is great" in Arabic. According to NBC News, "Law enforcement sources said the man left a note in the truck claiming that he committed the attack for the Islamic State terrorist group."

Following the attack, Trump made more comments about "extreme vetting" but today he used the term "chain migration." He has used it earlier in his presidency, tweeting in September, ""CHAIN MIGRATION cannot be allowed to be part of any legislation on Immigration!"

What Does Chain Migration Mean?

Chain migration is the immigration process by which immigrants from a particular city or region of the world follow others from that city or region to a particular city or neighborhood, usually in an urban area of an immigrant country. In regards to the United States, according to CNN, "In the US, a small fraction of green cards are given out each year based on employment, with family connections being a much larger share. That includes spouses, children and some extended family."

Saipov left 8 people dead, including 5 Argentine tourists and a Belgian. Saipov is an Uzbek immigrant who had been living in New Jersey with previous residences in Florida and Ohio.

Trump said yesterday that Saipov entered the United States through the State Department’s “Diversity Visa Lottery Program.” While that story is unconfirmed, Trump blamed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the Democrats for weakening the nation’s borders.

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