- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley appears to be the first out of the gate in attempting to link the suspected Boston bombers to the congressional debate over immigration reform.:
As a chaotic, frantic, and violent hunt for a suspected bomber unfolded in Boston, the Iowa Republican pointed to the situation during the committee’s first hearing on a new comprehensive immigration bill. Grassley argued consideration of the issue is important "especially in light of everything that’s happening in Massachusetts now."
In his opening statement, Grassley also argued the Boston terror case can help strengthen immigration reform since "it will help shed light on the weaknesses in our system … [and] how can we beef up security checks on people who would enter the United States."
Other senators have swatted the suggestion down. A spokesman for Marco Rubio, one of the chief proponents of the current reform proposal, told the Daily Caller that "Americans will reject any attempt to tie the losers responsible for the attacks in Boston with the millions of law-abiding immigrants currently living in the US and those hoping to immigrate here in the future."
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy also told reporters, "If we change the policies of this country every time something happens, Oklahoma City, 9/11, this, we’re never going to do anything."
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was reportedly granted U.S. citizenship last year and Tamerlan was apparently hoping to become a citizen as well. But neither was an undocumented immigrant and Grassley’s argument seems like it would be a bit of a distraction from the actual point of the bill being considered … which doesn’t mean it won’t catch on.