Today Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In the letter, Sen. Paul cites last week’s Boston bombing as evidence that the US immigration system is flawed and must be fixed before any “comprehensive” bill should be considered.
Sen. Paul writes that “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.
“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?”
Sen. Paul calls for hearings in both the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee to study the national security aspects of the immigration system.
Paul notes that we still need answers to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s encounters with the FBI, writing “ Media reports indicate that the deceased bombing suspect was interviewed by the FBI two years ago at the request of a foreign government. We need to know the details of this interview. We need to know if this interview might have given investigators any reason to conclude that this individual might be dangerous or at least worthy of further inquiry. If so, was there an intelligence failure? At the very least, it should be examined.”
Paul also notes that the US refugee system, which was the Tsarnaev’s portal into the country, has serious problems. “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.”