Attempted Bomb Attack Prompts Trump to Renew Calls for Limiting Immigration

A suicide bomber’s attempted blast in a New York City subway sparked President Donald Trump’s anger and encouraged him even further to push for limiting immigration.

Only hours after the explosion happened in an underground passageway connecting two of Manhattan’s busiest stations, Trump renewed his call for closer scrutiny of foreigners entering the U.S. and limiting the number of immigrants who come based on family ties.

Akayed Ullah, who came to the United States from Bangladesh in 2011, was arrested in the bombing. He had been granted a visa available to people who have relatives in the U.S.

Ullah told investigators that his unsuccessful attack was an attempt to retaliate for American action against Islamic State extremists.

“Today’s terror suspect entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is incompatible with national security,” Trump said in a statement requiring certain changes to the immigration system. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president’s proposed policies “could have prevented this.”

Authorities said that Ullah had strapped the explosive to his body and set off the device after slipping into the subway station unnoticed. They added that only Ullah was seriously injured in the attack.

“This is one of my nightmares … a terrorist attack in the subway system. The good news is: We were on top of it,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Investigators spoke to the wounded Ullah, who told them that he wanted to avenge the U.S. aggression against the IS group, Associated Press reports. Law enforcement officials added that Ullah looked at IS propaganda online, but it is unclear whether he had direct contact with the militant group.

The Trump administration has for some time been calling for “merit-based” immigration, where green card issuance would be limited only to spouses and minor children. Current immigration policy allows U.S. citizens to apply for spouses, parents, children, siblings and the siblings’ spouses and minor children.

In a statement, Trump said the attack emphasized the need for U.S. immigration reforms, Reuters reports.

“America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country,” he said.

Bangladesh’s government also condemned the subway attack.

“Bangladesh is committed to its declared policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism, and condemns terrorism and violent extremism in all forms or manifestations anywhere in the world, including Monday morning’s incident in New York City,” a Bangladeshi government statement said.

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