Trump: We must fix our immigration system

Trump calls for tighter restrictions on immigration following New York City attack.

Ben Ariel,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday called for tighter restrictions on immigration in the wake of the terrorist attack in New York City carried out by a Bangladesh native living in the U.S.

"America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country," Trump said in a written statement quoted by USA Today.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later called on Congress to overhaul the immigration system, saying the New York attack is evidence the U.S. needs to strengthen border security.

“This attack underscores the need for Congress to work with the president on immigration reforms that enhance the national security and public safety,” she told reporters, according to The Hill.

“We must protect our borders and we must ensure that individuals entering our country are not coming to do harm to people, and we must move to a merit-based immigration system,” added Huckabee Sanders.

The attacker, a 27-year-old man from Bangladesh identified as Akayed Ullah, was arrested after he detonated an improvised bomb near the Port Authority Bus Terminal during rush hour.

No one was killed in the attack, but several people were injured.

The NYPD confirmed that the suspect had been inspired by the Islamic State (ISIS) though no direct link to the group has been found as of yet.

Law enforcement officials told CNN later on Monday that Ullah told investigators he carried out the attack as an act of "revenge" for recent Israeli actions in Gaza.

Bangladesh is not on the list of countries impacted by the president’s current travel ban, but the White House said the suspect was allowed into the country through a family immigrant visa, seven years ago, that the administration has sought to curb.

“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,” Huckabee Sanders said.

“That's why the president has pushed for ... a responsible and total immigration reform, and that's why we have to look at all sectors and do what we can to make sure we're doing everything within our power to protect the American people,” she added.