NEW YORK — When declaring a national emergency on Friday in order to secure billions of dollars in border-wall funding, President Donald Trump again talked about a deadly 2017 terror attack in Manhattan in relation to chain migration.
Shortly after declaring a national emergency from the Rose Garden, Trump cited chain migration as an issue: "Where a bad person comes in, brings 22, or 23, or 35 of his family members because he has his mother, his grandmother, his sister, his cousin, his uncle, they're all in."
The president then immediately talked about a terror attack on Oct. 31, 2017, when suspect Sayfullo Saipov is accused of using a truck to kill eight people and injure 11 others. After his arrest, Saipov allegedly told the authorities he was inspired by Islamic State videos, but later pleaded not guilty.
“That young wise guy drove over and killed eight people and horribly injured — nobody talks about that — horribly, like loss of legs and arms,” he said.
Trump went on to say Saipov "made a right turn into a park," killing and injuring the victims. The incident occurred on a West Side bike path.
"He had many people brought in because he was in the United States. It's called chain migration," Trump added.
Trump has tied Saipov to chain migration in the past, prompting FactCheck.org to report there is no proof Saipov — an immigrant from Uzbekistan who came to the U.S. legally in 2010 through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program — has brought anyone into the U.S.
Early last year, the nonprofit group reported a person who enters the U.S. through a diversity visa can only bring his or her spouse and children. Saipov got married three years after entering the country, and it was to a fellow Uzbekistan citizen who had already entered the U.S.
The notion 22 people, or more, could have been brought to the country through chain migration is also an "implausible exaggeration," Princeton University professor Marta Tienda told the website.
The president has also tweeted that Saipov should be executed, prompting the suspect's defense to file complaints in court last year.
Trump made the chain-migration claims while announcing he is signing a national emergency in order to redirect more than $6 billion in federal funds toward the construction of a wall, or barrier, between the U.S. and Mexico.
The money will be in addition to $1.375 billion already authorized by Congress for border fencing.