A Bangladeshi man who unsuccessfully detonated a pipe-bomb in a New York subway tunnel during Monday morning rush hour came to the United States via “chain migration”, it has been revealed.

27-year old Akayed Ullah, the failed bomber and terrorist came to the U.S. from Bangladesh in 2011 on an F43 Visa – a special family visa available to extended family members of immigrants who have acquired U.S. legal status, either Permanent Residence or U.S. Citizenship.

New York City subway bomber’s expired Drivers Licence. Credit: New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission/Handout via REUTERS

Ullah acquired an F43 visa issued primarily to relatives of immigrants with a relative in the U.S.  who can sponsor them.  This is often referred to as “chain migration” meaning that a legal immigrant through this immigration loophole can bring as many relatives as they can as long as they can sponsor them.

An F43 visa holder must be a child of an F41 Visa holder, both low priority immigrants to the U.S.  According to the State Department Visa Classification, an F41 Visa holder must be a brother or sister of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) later indicated that the bomber together with his siblings came to the U.S. via the F43 visa to join their parents who were already in the country and were themselves recipients of an F41 visa.  However, DHS did not disclose which of the parents was the beneficiary of the F41 visa or who is the relative in the U.S. who sponsored them.

President Trump is calling for strict Immigration Policy on immigrations to the U.S. Credit: James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

Like many others, Ullah benefited from an extended family “chain migration” – a reference to the contentious “open door” immigration policy that allows immigrants with legal status to sponsor family including extended family members to come to the United States without being subjected to serious vetting.

Once these beneficiaries get legal status, they too can start bringing their own “extended family” through the endless “chain migration” system.

New York City bomber and terrorist Akayed Ullah on a stretcher after failed explosion left him injured.

President Trump has been calling for a limitation to “chain migration” as well as an end to the controversial Diversity Visa Lottery.  These immigration loopholes have become the gateway by which an estimated three quarters of one million legal immigrants in the country are beneficiaries of.

According to a top U.S. immigration official, the Diversity Visa Lottery is “wracked with fraud” and has created conditions and channels of entry into the country used by terrorists.  The last two terror suspects in both the October and December attacks in New York City came through this channel.

Francis Cissna, the Director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services called on Congress to cut down on the extended family “chain migration” and end the Visa Lottery that has became the channel for Akayed Ullah

New York City map indicating location where attack occurred.

Proponents of Open Door Immigration Policy and advocates for immigration have argued that “chain migration” or family-based immigration incentivize families to migrate as a unit and keep families together.  They also argue that it helps facilitate quick assimilation of these immigrants to American culture.

By design, these policies give a preference to immigrants with family already in the U.S. Of the nearly one million foreign nationals admitted to the United States in 2013 as lawful permanent residents, two-thirds were admitted “on the basis of family ties,” according to a 2016 report by the Congressional Research Service.

An estimated 75,000 Bangladeshi immigrants live in the New York metropolitan area.  Approximately 277,000 Bangladeshi immigrants and their children live in the United States, a majority of whom have acquired U.S. citizenship.

President Trump also renewed his call for immigration reform and closer scrutiny of people being let into the country, particularly those who came through “chain migration”.

“Today’s terror suspect entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is incompatible with national security,” Trump said in a statement that called for various changes to the immigration system.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded DACA, he paved the way for new, tighter comprehensive Immigration Reform by Congress. Credit: AP

In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed with Trump, saying, “We have now seen two terrorist attacks in New York City in less than two months that were carried out by people who came here as the result of our failed immigration policies that do not serve the national interest. … It is a failure of logic and sound police not to adopt a merit-based immigration system.”

27-year old Akayed Ullah who had a home-made pipe bomb strapped to his body set off an explosion at one of New York City’s busiest transit hubs which left 5 people injured including a Police Officer.  The failed attempt at blowing himself up left him with severe burns and lacerations on the torso.

Ullah’s low-tech bomb used explosive powder, a nine-volt battery, a Christmas light and matches, the officials said. Investigators said the suspect was seen on surveillance footage igniting the bomb.

New York subway bomber and terrorist Akayed Ullah hides his face after a failed terrorist attack.

In the end, it wasn’t powerful enough to turn the pipe into deadly shrapnel, the officials said.  Akayed is an electrician who also worked as a cab driver in New York City.  Mr. Ullah had attached the pipe bomb to himself with a “combination of Velcro and zip ties,” said James P. O’Neill, the commissioner of the New York Police Department.

Bangladesh is not listed in the countries that President Trump wants a temporary immigration ban and migration to the U.S. curtailed. A list of countries under a ‘Travel Ban’.

President Trump has advocated for an end to both “chain migration” and the “diversity visa” lottery or system.  Critics of “chain migration” argue that neither Ullah nor his uncle would have been in the U.S. had it not been for “chain migration.”

While proponents of the Open-Door Policy of “chain migration” argue that it keeps families together …critics site /point out and that it also benefits “poor” people.  Critics, however, point to Ullah’s case as an example of many beneficiaries of the system who come here, get status then marry leave to go and marry and then keep their families outside the country.

Uzbekistan immigrant Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented truck into pedestrians and cyclists in Manhattan, New York on 31 October 2017. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The other argument by immigration advocates is that most beneficiaries of the immigration system are poor people from poor countries who should come to the US to better themselves.  Again, , the question is, how can these “poor” people like Ullah afford to make multiple trips abroad when Americans can barely afford to travel outside their own states multiple times.

The incident occurs less than two months after an immigrant from Uzbekistan killed 8 people after mowing down people with a rental truck at a New York City bike path.

In September 2016, a man injured 31 people when he set off a homemade bomb in New York’s Chelsea district.



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