Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says the Boston Marathon bombing case should have an impact on how immigration reform progresses in the U.S. Senate.
“While we don’t yet know the immigration status of people who have terrorized the communities in Massachusetts, when we find out it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system,” Grassley said this morning.
Two brothers from a family that originally came from war-torn Chechnya are suspects in the bombings near the Boston Marathon’s finish line. The older brother was killed in a shoot out with authorities early this morning. The Boston area is in lock-down mode, still, as authorities search for the other brother.
“How can individuals evade authority and plan such attacks on our soil? How can we beef up security checks on people who wish to enter the United States?” Grassley asks.
Grassley made his comments this morning during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on an immigration reform plan that was unveiled this week in Washington.
Earlier this week Republican Congressman Steve King said congress should focus on national security after the Boston bombings, rather than immigration reform. Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, today said immigration reform and the Boston bombing are two “completely separate” issues.
“We’ve been talking about the need for comprehensive immigration reform for years and just now it seems like we’re finally getting to the point where there’s bipartisan consensus to move forward,” Braley said. “…Everything that happens in the United States on a daily basis affects the debates we’re having, but I think it’s premature for people to try to analyze what happened in Boston and make broad conclusions about what that means for our immigration policy.”
Braley made his comments late this morning during taping of the “Iowa Press” program that airs tonight on Iowa Public Television.
“What happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. Law enforcement officials are working very diligently even as we tape this program to try to get to the bottom of who caused this and bring them to justice,” Braley said. “So we need to focus on what we can do to eliminate threats like what happened in Boston, but to tie them to our conversation and the need for immigration reform is misguided in my opinion.”
Braley said he’s “pleased” with the “broad outline” for immigration reform a bipartisan group of senators have proposed, but there “will be a lot of changes” as the plan works its way through congress.