Trump Calls For Immigration Crackdown After NYC Subway Blast

President Donald Trump listens to Vice President Mike Pence speak before signing a policy directive to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump on Monday used a bombing in New York City to once again advocate for stricter limits on immigration into the United States.

Calling his executive action to restrict travel from six Muslim-majority nations — in addition to travel from North Korea and for some Venezuelan officials and their families — “just one step,” Trump argued for further congressional action.

“Congress must end chain migration,” he wrote, presumably referring to the preferential visa status given to some migrants with family members who are U.S. citizens. “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.”

It’s not immediately clear how the latter proposals would have prevented the suspect in Monday’s bombing, Akayed Ullah, 27, originally from Bangladesh, from carrying out his alleged attack.

A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security said Monday that Ullah had been admitted to the United States in 2011 “after presenting a passport displaying an F43 family immigrant visa.”

“The suspect is a Lawful Permanent Resident from Bangladesh who benefited from extended family chain migration,” the spokesperson, Tyler Q. Houlton, wrote on Twitter.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services defines F43 visa holders as the children of F41 visa holders, who in turn are defined as the brothers or sisters of U.S. citizens.

Trump also advocated for “the strongest penalty allowed by law, including the death penalty in appropriate cases” for those convicted on terrorism charges.

Following the White House’s acknowledgement that the President had been briefed on the bombing Monday morning, he made no mention of it in four subsequent tweets.

Read Trump’s full statement below:

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.

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