Amidst calls from Republicans to stop immigration reform following the Boston bombings last week, Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security said this week that the new immigration reform proposal would help the national security. Napolitano said the proposal does not detract from the security of the U.S. but rather helps to strengthen it through stronger borders and more tracking of individuals while in the country.
Following the bombings last week, in which there were three deaths and close to 300 injured, a small contingent of conservative senators, which includes Chuck Grassley the Republican senator from Iowa and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, have questioned if the Senate should proceed with a comprehensive reform for immigration since the alleged bombers had been born on foreign soil.
These new calls for further review threaten to stop the longstanding, delicate bipartisan negotiations for the overhaul of the immigration system in the country. Democrats were quick to decry the Republican efforts to link the bombings with immigration reform.
Democrat Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont said that opponents of the immigration reform started exploiting the Boston Marathon and request there be restraint regarding that.
Nevertheless, Grassley continued to say at a second hearing over immigration that the Boston Marathon bombing should be considered a cautionary tale.
Grassley said the events in Boston should serve everyone as reminders that the immigration system in the U.S. is related directly to our national security matters and sovereignty.
The two suspects in the bombings, one who was killed and his younger brother who is recovering in a Boston Hospital, emigrated in the early 2000s from Russia. Following the bombings, questions have arisen about if the brothers, who are of Chechen descent but appear not to have ever lived in Chechnya, were ever affiliated with Chechens who are radicals.