The director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Tuesday that he does not have data to support the claim that chain migrants are more likely to become self-radicalized.
During a White House press briefing, L. Francis Cissna said that while he does not have data to support a connection between chain migration and terrorism, the current system is vulnerable to infiltration by bad actors.
“No, what I think my point is — is that if you have immigrant visa programs where the eligibility criteria are low to nonexistent or even an outright lottery,” Cissna said to a reporter, “you’re not selecting for the types of people that we want in this country, according to criteria, that will ensure their success in our nation. That will ensure that they will assimilate well.”
Cissna appeared at the briefing one day after an attempted suicide bombing in New York City’s Port Authority terminal.
The suspect, a 27-year-old lawful permanent resident originally from Bangladesh, came into the United States through a family connection that Cissna described as "the child of a sibling of a U.S. citizen.”
“So the suspect in yesterday’s bombing came in under the most extreme, remote possible family-based connection that you can have under current U.S. immigration law,” Cissna said.
Akayed Ullah on Tuesday was charged with supporting an act of terrorism, criminal possession of a weapon and making a terroristic threat, according to the New York Police Department.
Ullah allegedly attempted to detonate a device resembling a pipe bomb, injuring himself and three others. He claimed to have perpetrated the attack in the name of the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria (ISIS).