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PolitiFact: Trump is way off on how diversity visa lottery works

  • President Donald Trump speaks during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony on Dec. 15 in Quantico, Va. AP



PolitiFact staff
Friday, December 22, 2017

During a speech on Dec. 15, Donald Trump said of the diversity visa lottery program, “they give us their worst people, they put them in a bin,” and “the worst of the worst” are selected.

Our ruling

Trump said of the diversity visa lottery program, “they give us their worst people, they put them in a bin,” and “the worst of the worst” are selected.

Trump based his criticism of the lottery program on the fact that the suspect in a New York City terror attack came through the program in 2010.

But Trump’s simplistic characterization gives a misleading impression of how the process actually works. First of all, countries don’t “give us” immigrants. The lottery is administered by the United States, not foreign governments.

Lottery entrants must meet educational and work experience requirements, and winners are chosen at random by a computer. Also, winning the lottery does not necessarily mean the person will come to the United States. They must be thoroughly vetted before being awarded a visa.

We rate Trump’s statement Pants on Fire.

To read the full fact check, go to politifact.com.