A long-awaited reunion turned deadly for a group of eight friends from Argentina after five of them were killed in the recent terror attack in New York City. In response to the tragic incident, United States President Donald Trump said that the country will be implementing “tougher extreme vetting procedures” to keep American citizens safe from such attacks.
Trump said through Twitter that he has already talked to the president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, about the five victims of the New York attack, who the POTUS described as “proud and wonderful.”
“Just spoke to President Macri of Argentina about the five proud and wonderful men killed in the West Side terror attack,” Trump said. “God be with them!”
Trump indicated that the New York terrorist attack is one good reason why the United States needs to change its policies on immigrants. The suspect of the attack, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, is an immigrant from Uzbekistan, who entered the United States via the diversity visa lottery program. Saipov is suspected to have been radicalized domestically. Trump, who is calling for the death penalty for the New York attacker, tweeted that Saipov “asked to hang the ISIS flag in his hospital room.” Authorities are also looking at the possibility that Saipov did not act alone.
Trump also used the tragic situation to blast Democrats, particularly Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. In a tweet posted on Wednesday, Trump said, “the terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty.” In 1990, Schumer was one of 31 congressmen who co-sponsored the Immigration Act bill. He’s also behind the Employment-Related Immigration Act, which allowed visas to be given out to immigrants from countries with low admission rates to the United States. Trump is pushing for a merit-based system that will determine who gets to enter the country.
The five men from Argentina, who died after a rented truck plowed through a crowded bike lane, were identified as Diego Enrique Angelini, Hernan Ferruchi, Hernan Diego Mendoza, and Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, all 47, along with 48-year-old Ariel Erlij, who police also identified as “Ariel Erlis,” the Washington Post reported.
The five victims were with three other childhood friends, Arnel Benvenuto, Ivan Brajckovic, and Juan Pablo Trevisan, when the terrorist attack occurred. The eight men, long-time friends from Rosario, Argentina, decided to go to New York City to celebrate the 30th year since they graduated from high school. They left for New York City on October 28.
The Argentine friends rented bicycles and have already driven 20 blocks along the bike path when Saipov drove the Home Depot truck through the lane. A total of eight people died in the New York terror attack. Also killed were Anne-Laure Decadt, 31, from Belgium; Darren Drake, 32, of New Milford, N.J.; and Nicholas Cleves, 23, from Greenwich Street, West Village.
[Featured Image by Andres Kudacki/AP Images]