Trump vows to ‘get rid’ of green card lottery

green cardTHERE is bad news for Aussies hoping to gain entry to the US via the green card lottery — Donald Trump says he’s axing it.

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has announced he will scrap the popular green card lottery, which gives foreigners legal entry to the country, as a result of yesterday’s New York terror attack.

The scheme is popular with Australians, with the most recent statistics showing that more than 20,000 Australians apply each year to live and work in the US.

The President instead said he wants to introduce an Australian style merit-based immigration system.

“I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program,” Mr Trump told reporters in Washington.

“I’m going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program.

“Diversity lottery. Sounds nice. It’s not nice. It’s not good. It hasn’t been good. We’ve been against it. So we want to immediately work with Congress … on terminating it, getting rid of it.”

The lottery provides 50,000 immigrant visas each year via a lottery.

Mr Trump said he wanted to replace the lottery with a “merit-based” program that would halt “chain migration”, which is the process by which immigrants take friends and family with them into the US.

Mr Trump described the alleged terrorist Sayfullo Saipov, 29, as an “animal” and claimed US chain migration rules may have allowed him to bring 23 others to the US.

“Terrorists are constantly seeking to strike our nation, and it will require the unflinching devotion to our law enforcement, homeland security, and intelligence professionals to keep America safe,” Mr Trump said.

“We will take all necessary steps to protect our people and our communities, and to protect our nation as a whole.

“We have to get much tougher. We have to get much smarter. And we have to get much less politically correct.

“We’re so politically correct that we’re afraid to do anything.”

Mr Trump and his administration have repeatedly praised Australia’s immigration policies.

“We want a merit based system and we don’t want chain migration where somebody like him will ultimately be allowed to bring in many, many members of his family,” Mr Trump said.

In August, the president proposed the RAISE Act, a points-based system favouring green cards awarded to English speaking applicants who can financially support themselves.Mr Trump has already slashed the country’s annual refugee intake by more than 50 per cent.