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Bridget Johnson


April 22, 2013 - 9:25 am

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sent a lengthy letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today asking to table the immigration reform bill until the Boston attacks are better understood and national security considerations are addressed in the legislation.

“The facts emerging in the Boston Marathon bombing have exposed a weakness in our current system. If we don’t use this debate as an opportunity to fix flaws in our current system, flaws made even more evident last week, then we will not be doing our jobs,” Paul wrote.

“We should not proceed until we understand the specific failures of our immigration system. Why did the current system allow two individuals to immigrate to the United States from the Chechen Republic in Russia, an area known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism, who then committed acts of terrorism? Were there any safeguards? Could this have been prevented? Does the immigration reform before us address this?”

One of the Tsarnaev brothers accused in the attack was a naturalized citizen and the other a permanent resident. Paul said committee work needs to be done to scrutinize whether the system “gives individuals from high-risk areas of the world heightened scrutiny.”

“In the wake of 9/11, there was a comprehensive reform of our intelligence gathering system, yet our improved intelligence gathering system did not adequately detect these extremists. We need to understand possible intelligence failures and craft solutions,” he wrote.

Paul suggested revisiting the National Security Registration System (NSEERS) implemented by Congress in 2002 but suspended by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in 2011.

“Our refugee programs have proven to be a problem. On, January 29, 2013, two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green, in my home state of Kentucky, were sentenced to long prison terms for participating in terrorism and providing material support to terrorists while living in the United States. How did this happen? Does the current immigration reform address how this might have happened? We may need more scrutiny when accepting refugees from high-risk nations,” he wrote.

“I want to make sure that any new bill addresses the visa entry and exit programs, in addition to refugee programs that have proven problematic in Bowling Green and possibly, if media reports are correct, in Boston.”

Paul added student visas need a second look, as well. “Should we suspend student visas, or at least those from high-risk areas, pending an investigation into the national security implications of this program?”

“I respectfully request that the Senate consider the following two conditions as part of the comprehensive immigration reform debate: One, the Senate needs a thorough examination of the facts in Massachusetts to see if legislation is necessary to prevent a similar situation in the future. Two, national security protections must be rolled into comprehensive immigration reform to make sure the federal government does everything it can to prevent immigrants with malicious intent from using our immigration system to gain entry into the United States in order to commit future acts of terror.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (5)
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Hear, hear!!

And how did the younger brother get US citizenship, only last September, a mere 7 months before he bombed Boston? The immigration side of this stinks to high heaven and I'm very appreciative that someone is finally saying so.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hmm. That puts The Won's entire immigration policy to question. Can't have that.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just as obamacare the immigration bill will move very quickly in order to get something passed before the American public has a chance to comment. This is SOP for democrats in both houses. Unfortunately they do not hold the house of representatives so BHO's agenda is having some problems getting passed. It has always been about the speed to get legislation passed with this administration. Shudder to think if republicans lose the house in '14. What will happen under a one party government. Say goodbye to liberty, the second amendment and say hello to carbon tax, VAT tax and capital gains taxes. Plus whatever else tickles the Madam's(Pelosi) fancy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm absolutely sure Harry Reid, being the intelligent, Diplomat he is read every word with consideration and thoughtfulness.

Oh, wait, they are LIBERALS... They refused to open the letter, instead setting it on fire in a drum circle at midnight...

Harry Reid along with Piglozi are not going to be happy at what the future historians are going to write about them all. They will be called the Destroyers of America...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A look at the WHAT:

Immigration to the USA should benefit both the potential emigree AND the USA in total.

Predicate1: The USA is still the best place on earth, by far.

Therefore1: The USA will ALWAYS have the longest line of potential immigrants.

A look at the WHY:

Predicate2: Many potential immigrants to the USA are basing their claims solely on political repression in their current nation.

Therefore2: That sole reason, while certainly VALID from the immigrants' standpoint, provides NO incentive for the USA to place those potential immigrants ahead of any others with 'better' reasons to emigrate.

Suggestion: Fill (or expand) the immigration quotas for those foreigners who possess skills and educational specialties that our economy lacks.

Zero-out those escaping politicial repression or at least place restrictions.

Otherwise we risk administering an immigration policy that can do the USA no good, but can and has done us occasional great harm.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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