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President Trump called for immigration reform on Twitter this morning by stating that Sayfullo Saipov, the alleged New York City attacker, entered the United States via the Diversity Visa Lottery program, calling the program a "Chuck Schumer beauty." Schumer hit back at POTUS, accusing him of continually "politicizing and dividing America" during times of national tragedy.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The problem: We don't know yet if Trump's tweet can be taken as confirmation of Saipov's immigration status. The Diversity Visa Lottery tidbit about Saipov first came up in an unconfirmed local ABC7 report, which was seized on by right-wing outlets like Breitbart and Blunt Force Truth as well as former Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka — seemingly to connect Schumer's prior immigration work to yesterday's deadly attack.

The details about the Diversity Visa Program

How it works, per a Washington Post report on the program:

  • The program, which took effect in 1995, was designed to increase American immigration diversity by offering 50,000 visas to "low-admission" countries via a lottery.
  • Applicants to the program must have at least a high school education or two years of formal job training.
  • Most people who enter the United States under the program do so from African countries. Saipov reportedly hailed from Uzbekistan.

How it passed:

  • The measure that eventually became the Diversity Visa Program was indeed proposed by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer.
  • It was swept into a larger immigration reform package that passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan votes — including an 89-8 vote in the Senate — and was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

Worth noting: A 2007 study from the Government Accountability Office stated that there was "no documented evidence" that anyone admitted under the Diversity Visa Program posed a terrorist threat, though it did highlight that the program was susceptible to fraud, which might allow terrorists to enter.

And now, this: Sen. Jeff Flake, who was a member of the immigration Gang of 8 along with Schumer, reminded Trump that their 2013 attempt to reform the nation's immigration system would have done away with the Diversity Visa Program:

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
Schumer's full response
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
"I have always believed and continue to believe that immigration is good for America. President Trump, instead of politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy, should be focusing on the real solution — anti-terrorism funding — which he proposed cutting in his most recent budget.
I'm calling on the President to immediately rescind his proposed cuts to this vital anti-terrorism funding."
More tweets from Trump

In response to a Fox & Friends segment on the topic, soon after his initial tweet:

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

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Biden's carbon emissions-cutting pledge faces tough climb

Image from the Rhodium Group study "Pathways to Paris." Courtesy of the Rhodium Group.

The verdict is in: President Biden's U.S. emissions-cutting pledge isn't a fantasy, but the path to meeting it is very difficult and relies on forces outside of White House control.

Driving the news: The Rhodium Group just released an analysis of policy combinations that could close the gap between the current U.S. trajectory and Biden's vow under the Paris Agreement to cut emissions in half by 2030.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's official: Johnson & Johnson has invoked a Texas legal loophole in an attempt to protect the bulk of its corporate assets from claims that its baby powder caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

Why it matters: It's the biggest and boldest invocation yet of the so-called Texas two-step defense. But it's still not clear whether it's going to work.

Poll: U.S. leadership approval rebounds from Trump low

A Gallup report published Tuesday found approval of United States leadership in 46 countries and territories hit 49% — up from 30% at the end of Donald Trump's presidency, and matching former President Obama's first year (2009).

Why it matters: Biden's efforts to reengage with the international community following the Trump administration appear to be improving the global approval ratings for U.S. leadership, though this poll does not take into account the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.