By Brooke Singman, ,
Published December 11, 2017
The attempted suicide bombing in New York early Monday would never have happened if President Trump's immigration policies had been in place, the White House said after it was revealed that the terror suspect had entered the country via chain migration.
Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi national, allegedly strapped a pipe bomb to his body with Velcro and zip ties, and it detonated in a subway corridor, New York Police Department officials said. Hours later, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed to Fox News that Ullah was admitted to the U.S. after presenting a passport displaying an F43 family immigrant visa in 2011.
“The suspect is a Lawful Permanent Resident from Bangladesh who benefited from extended family chain migration,” DHS Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement.
That prompted White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to note that President Trump has railed against so-called "chain migration," through which dozens of an immigrant's relatives can enter the U.S. simply because their family member made it.
“The president’s policy has called for an end to chain migration," Sanders said. "If that had been in place, that would have prevented this individual from coming to the United States.”
Trump, in a statement, blamed the attack on America's "lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country."
"Today's terror suspect entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is incompatible with national security," the statement read. "My Executive action to restrict the entry of certain nationals from eight countries, which the Supreme Court recently allowed to take effect, is just one step forward in securing our immigration system. Congress must end chain migration."
"The terrible harm that this flawed system inflicts on America's security and economy has long been clear. I am determined to improve our immigration system to put our country and our people first," the statement continued.
The president has pushed to tighten and reform existing immigration laws with both his State Department and Department of Homeland Security, and been largely responsible for introducing the term chain migration into the national immigration debate.
Trump ramped up calls to end chain migration after the Halloween terror attack in New York City, by rallying support from Republicans in Congress.
The alleged perpetrator of the Halloween terror attack, Sayfullo Saipov, entered the U.S. through the State Department’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The president, along with some congressional Republicans, have called for the repeal of that program.
"We have now seen two terrorist attacks in New York City in less than two months that were carried out by people who came here as the result of our failed immigration policies that do not serve the national interest—the diversity lottery and chain migration," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Monday. "It is a failure of logic and sound policy not to adopt a merit-based immigration system."