White House says Trump immigration policies could have thwarted New York attack

White House says Trump immigration policies could have thwarted New York attack
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said if President Donald Trump's immigration policies against chain migration had been enacted, the attack at New York City's Port Authority could have been avoided. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

The White House on Monday announced that if President Donald Trump’s immigration policies against chain migration had been enacted, Monday’s attack at the New York City Port Authority could have been avoided.

What’s the background?

Law enforcement identified 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, a Brooklyn resident of Bangladeshi descent, as the suspect in the incident.

Ullah partially detonated an improvised explosive device underground near a Port Authority bus terminal.

Four were injured in the incident, including Ullah, who was treated for lacerations and burns.

What did the White House say?

During a press briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the attack and offered the White House’s stance on what could have prevented the incident:

The president is certainly concerned that Congress, particularly Democrats, have failed to take action in some places where we feel we could have prevented this. Specifically, the president’s policy has called for an end to chain migration, and if that had been in place that would have prevented this individual from coming to the United States. So the president is aggressively gonna continue to push forth responsible immigration reform, and ending chain migration would certainly be a part of that process.

What is chain migration anyway?

Chain migration is a practice by which related foreign nationals from the same regions cyclically migrate to the U.S.

After one immigrant is admitted entry to the U.S., he or she sponsors relatives from their home country to continue the process and migrate to the U.S. That immigrant in turn sponsors more relatives to migrate to the U.S.

Current U.S. policy — which allows chain migration — can increase immigration numbers quickly.

Is there more?

Sanders later cited information from the Department of Homeland Security, which noted that Ullah — who possessed a F-43 family immigrant visa — was allowed into the U.S. in 2011.

“We know that the president’s policy calls for an end to chain migration, which is what this individual came to the United States through, and if his policy had been in place, then that attacker would not have been allowed to come in the country,” Sanders explained.

“That’s why the president has pushed for not one part of immigration policy but a responsible and total immigration reform,” she said. “And that’s why we have to look at all sectors and do what we can to make sure we’re doing everything we can within our power to protect the American people.”