WINDERMERE, Fla. — The suspected New York City bike path attacker was allowed to enter the U.S. from Uzbekistan under the “Diversity Immigrant Visa Program,” which president Trump wants to eliminate.
Immigrants are chosen randomly under the program from countries with low rates of immigration.
A successful Windermere doctor who entered the country through the program is worried people like him will no longer have a chance.
Dr. Niral Patel was born in Kenya where his parents had moved from India.
He won the diversity immigration lottery in the '90s, came to the U.S., attended medical school and now runs the Windermere Medical Center.
"You can have nothing, come here, I'm living example of that, and be successful, you know the way we are right now,” said Patel.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program allows about 50,000 people into the country each year.
Local immigration attorney Rusten Hurd said that because the New York City attacker entered the country through the program, that shouldn’t mean program gets eliminated.
"Well there is this one incident. But you're talking about approximately 50,000 visas for every year since 1990,” said Hurd.
Patel admits the program needs to evolve given today’s environment.
"We don't need to shut the program down. We just need to do a better job of who's coming in,” he said.
Patel, now a U.S. citizen, said his medical center—with 35 employees—is a way of helping people along his journey, a way to say thanks to his country.
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