Why did we let him in? Trump says Bangladeshi bomber on a ‘chain entry’ green card shows why extended-family immigration rules need to be tightened
- President Trump seizes on immigration status of Bangladeshi man arrested after botched attack in New York at Port Authority bus station
- Akayed Ullah, 27, is a green card holder who was part of a large family who appear to have arrived thanks to 'chain migration'
- Immigration records show he got in because one of his parents' siblings is a citizen. That citizen can sponsor their brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews
- There are no restrictions on how many immigrants a citizen can sponsor and family reunion gets priority over other forms of sponsorship
President Donald Trump said Monday a bomb blast in Manhattan highlights the need for an immigration overhaul - as the man arrested was revealed to be part of a large Bangladeshi family sponsored by his aunt or uncle.
Trump said that the U.S. 'must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people' into the country.
The Republican president pointed to his controversial travel ban as an example of the kind of policy that needs to be put in place.
And he called on Congress to end 'chain migration,' in which family members are permitted to join relatives who have immigrated.
A Bangladeshi man identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah was taken into custody with serious injuries after a pipe bomb he was carrying malfunctioned and exploded prematurely inside a Midtown Manhattan subway station.
He had come from Bangladesh in 2011, apparently with his parents and three or four siblings - all of them sponsored by his aunt or uncle, his immigration status showed.
Statement: Trump issued a lengthy statement on the White House website on Monday afternoon, after the failed terror attack in New York
A 27-year-old Bangladeshi national was arrested on Monday after a pipe bomb partially exploded in a New York City Subway tunnel
Akayed Ullah, a resident of Brooklyn, was taken into custody after the attack. He says he wanted to carry out the terrorist attack in retribution for Muslim Palestinians. Ullah is seen here being taken to the hospital
Neighbors in Brooklyn say Ullah (left and right) did not appear to be married or have any kids. He lived in the basement of a building in Flatlands, below an apartment where his brother and sister live
A woman in a headscarf was seen being led away from an address in Ocean Parkway connected to Ullah on Monday
Armed NYPD officers at the scene on Monday morning await instruction after the suspect was taken away
IT'S ALL ABOUT IMMIGRATION: TRUMP'S FULL TERROR STATEMENT
Today's attempted mass murder attack in New York City - the second terror attack in New York in the last two months - once again highlights the urgent need for Congress to enact legislative reforms to protect the American people.
First and foremost, as I have been saying since I first announced my candidacy for President, America must fix its 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.
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.
Congress must also act on my Administration's other proposals to enhance domestic security, including increasing the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, enhancing the arrest and detention authorities for immigration officers, and ending fraud and abuse in our immigration system.
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.
Second, those convicted of engaging in acts of terror deserve the strongest penalty allowed by law, including the death penalty in appropriate cases.
America should always stand firm against terrorism and extremism, ensuring that our great institutions can address all evil acts of terror.
Ullah is a Bangladeshi national who has been living in the U.S. for the past seven years. Fox News reports that the former taxi driver came to the U.S. on a F-4 visa, a preferential visa for those who have family already in the U.S. The Post says he is a legal green-card holder.
His immigration designation is F-43, which means he claimed the right to a green card because he is the child of the brother or sister of a U.S. citizen.
The U.S. citizen can be newly naturalized. Trump's statement suggests that Ullah claimed a green card by virtue of a citizen who was also an immigrant.
Records show that Ullah moved to the U.S. from Chittagong, Bangladesh in February 2011 on the F4 visa, and is now a legal green-card owner.
He reportedly immigrated with his parents and three to four siblings. Trump's statement suggests that one of his parents' siblings had gained citizenship then petitioned for multiple family members.
Ullah had recently visited his home country on September 8.
Investigators have yet to determine an official motivation for the failed attack, but there have been reports that Ullah was inspired by ISIS.
It was the second time in two months that New York City was the target of a terrorist attack, and the first since President Trump sparked Muslim outrage around the world last week by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Trump has not spoken on camera about the attack that happened earlier today. His only only tweet today was about a New York Times story that claimed, among other things, that he drinks 12 diet cokes a day.
'Another false story, this time in the Failing @nytimes, that I watch 4-8 hours of television a day - Wrong! Also, I seldom, if ever, watch CNN or MSNBC, both of which I consider Fake News. I never watch Don Lemon, who I once called the 'dumbest man on television!' Bad Reporting,' he said.
At a quarter to 5 pm, Trump released a statement via the White House press office that said the attack 'once again highlights the urgent need for Congress to enact legislative reforms to protect the American people.
'America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country,' he said. 'Today's terror suspect entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is incompatible with national security.'
Bangladesh is not on Trump administration's list of countries whose residents require extreme vetting to enter America.
Police were seen speaking to residents at the Flatlands home on Monday morning. Police reportedly talked to Ullah's father, mother and brother at this home
The president said in his Monday statement that the executive action, which the Supreme Court let take effect after several revisions, 'is just one step forward' and that is why Congress must move to a merit-based immigration system.
He also demanded that Congress increase the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
And he called for the use of the death penalty 'where appropriate'.
He had previously called for the death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan who killed eight people and injured 12 in an October 31 truck attack in New York.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions echoed the comments saying the two recent attacks in Manhattan highlight the nation's 'failed immigration policies.'
Sessions says the Monday blast shows the need for immigration reform.
Sessions says relatives of U.S. citizens shouldn't get priority ahead of 'someone who is high-skilled, well educated, has learned English, and is likely to assimilate and flourish here.'
He says a merit-based immigration system would be safer.
The Bangladeshi former taxi driver who botched his 'revenge' attack on the US with a homemade bomb: What we know about Akayed Ullah
- Akayed Ullah moved to the U.S. from Bangladesh with his family seven years ago.
- He came to the U.S. on a F-4 visa, a preferential visa for those who have family already in the country, according to Fox News. He is now a legal green-card holder according to the New York Post.
- Bangladesh's police chief said the suspect, who lived in Chittagong, had no criminal record and wasn't on the radar of authorities.
- Ullah lived in Brooklyn and held a taxi license from 2012 to 2015, when it lapsed. It was for a livery service rather than a yellow cab.
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN that Ullah was 'disgruntled' and learned how to make the pipe bomb online.
- There are conflicting reports about where Ullah made the device.
- The New York Post say he constructed it at the electrical company where he worked, while a law enforcement source who spoke to the AP said he made it in his apartment.
- Law enforcement sources who spoke to Ullah at the hospital say he confessed to plotting the attack in retribution for recent actions by Israelis against Muslim Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
- Investigators have yet to determine an official motivation for the failed attack, but there have been reports that Ullah was inspired by ISIS.
- Law enforcement officials told the Associated Press he was not in direct contact with the terrorist group.
- So far, officials believe that Ullah carried out the attack as a 'lone wolf'
Commuters piled on to escalators to get out of the station after the explosion which occurred just after 7:20am
Law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that Ullah was inspired by the group, but not in direct contact with them. The attack is being celebrated on pro-ISIS 'channels'.
So far, officials believe that Ullah carried out the attack as a 'lone wolf'.
Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC's Morning Joe that the suspect 'supposedly was setting the device off in the name of ISIS' and that it was 'definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended'.
At a morning press conference, current NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said that the suspect 'did make statements' but that they are not going to comment on them yet.
Though it's still early in the investigation, New York City officials say it was definitely an attempted terror attack.
'This was an attempted terror attack and thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals,' Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the largest in the country and the busiest in the world - serving about 225,000 commuters a day.
It's what's known by law enforcement officials as a 'soft target' because it handles a lot of traffic but doesn't have the same kind of security as a place like an airport.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a bombing in the subway is 'one of our worst nightmares' - but he said New Yorkers will get through this as they have before on 9/11 and even the most recent terror attack on Halloween.
'This is the New York. The reality is we are the target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy and against freedom. We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor and that makes us an international target.
'We understand that anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness on how to put together an amateur-level explosive device and that is the reality that we live with.
'The counter reality is that this is New York and we all pitch together and we are a savvy people and we keep our eyes open and that's what 'see something, say something' is all about. And we have the best law enforcement on the globe and we're all working together extraordinarily well,' Gov. Cuomo said.
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