Washington (AFP) - US President Donald Trump said Monday that a bomb attack by a 27-year-old from Bangladesh on New York's subway system underscored the "urgent need" for Congress to enact immigration reform.
Three people were slightly injured after the attacker's pipe bomb exploded only partially, while the suspect was sent to a hospital with apparently severe burns and wounds on his torso and hands.
"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," Trump said in a statement.
He added that the suspect, identified as Akayed Ullah, had entered the country through "extended-family chain migration," a system the president is seeking to end that allows families to sponsor relatives to come to the United States.
He also cited his controversial travel ban on the entry of nationals from eight countries -- six of which have Muslim majorities -- as "one step forward in securing our immigration system."
Other measures Trump said he hoped Congress would pass included "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."
Trump also reiterated his call for terror convicts to receive "the strongest penalty allowed by law, including the death penalty."
He had previously called for the death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan who killed eight people and injured 12 in an October 31 truck attack in New York.