The most-watched Senate Republican in the Group of Eight bipartisan immigration negotiators carefully responded to arguments for and against delaying the bill in light of the Boston terror attacks by Chechen immigrants.
“Let no one be so cruel as to try to use the heinous acts of these two young men last week to derail the dreams, and futures of millions of hardworking people,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) said today.
Earlier, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to put the bill on hold until the 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.
“I disagree with those who say that the terrorist attack in Boston has no bearing on the immigration debate,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in the wake of the arguments.
“Any immigration reform we pursue should make our country safer and more secure. If there are flaws in our immigration system that were exposed by the attack in Boston, any immigration reform passed by Congress this year should address those flaws,” he continued. “Congress needs time to conduct more hearings and investigate how our immigration and national security systems could be improved going forward.”
“The attack reinforces why immigration reform should be a lengthy, open and transparent process, so that we can ask and answer important questions surrounding every facet of the bill. But we still have a broken system that needs to be fixed.”
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), a member of the House Democrats’ Immigration Task Force, charged “there’s always a danger of a stalling tactic and using this raw emotion, this reaction of the American people have to what happened in Boston.”
“Yeah, there’s weaknesses in the system. But — and — and it exposes the fact that a broken immigration system that we are talking about as we speak, is the weakness,” Grijalva said on MSNBC. “Comprehensive reform that is being talked about as proposed legislation, that can be improved. That is one of the paths to more security for this nation.”