April 21st, 2013
03:54 PM ET
12 months ago

After Boston, some call for delaying immigration bill

(CNN) - Another senator raised concerns on Sunday about taking up the new bipartisan immigration reform bill following last week's terror attack in Boston. The two suspects - one of whom was killed in a shootout with police, the other is in federal custody - came to the country legally more than a decade ago.

Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana said Sunday that Congress should wait until the emotional reaction to the violence subsides before tackling immigration legislation.

"We have a broken system, it needs to be reformed," he said on ABC's "This Week." "But I'm afraid we'll rush to some judgments relative to immigration and how it's processed. So let's do it in a rational way rather than an emotional way."

Passing legislation in such a manner, he added, ends up in "bad policy."

GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa made headlines Friday when he said lawmakers shouldn't rush the legislative process "given the events of this week" and was among the first to cite the Boston Marathon bombings in the immigration debate.

"It's important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system," Grassley said at the opening of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nearly 900-page bill.

"How can individuals evade authorities and plan such attacks on our soil? How can we beef up security checks on people who wish to enter the U.S.?"

Coats said he agreed with Grassley and argued Capitol Hill needs to take its time on debating the issue.

"We saw some things post-9/11 that were enacted that if we had had a little bit more rational time to think this through, perhaps we wouldn't have had some of the pushback on it," he said.

The two suspects in Monday's bombings are both of Chechen ethnicity but came to the United States in 2002 and 2006 from Kyrgyzstan. They were granted asylum and the younger brother became a naturalized citizen last year.

Those supportive of the new immigration plan, however, strongly hit back against critics on Sunday, saying the recent events in Boston are no reason to delay immigration reform.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, one of the "Gang of Eight" senators who drafted the immigration plan, said some on the right who opposed the bill "from the get-go" are simply using Boston "as an excuse" to stall the legislation.

"We are not going to let them do that," the Democratic senator said on CNN's "State of the Union." "If they have a reason, a suggestion as to how to change it based on what happened in Boston, we'll certainly be open to it. But we're not going to let them use what happened in Boston as an excuse, because our law toughens things up."

On the same program, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham - another Gang of Eight member - added that lawmakers who disagree can attempt to add amendments and debate their case and even vote against the bill. But he reiterated that the terror attack is no reason to stall it.

"We need to move on," he said.

A third Gang of Eight member, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said their bill will make the country safer.

"The worst thing we can do is nothing. If we do nothing, leaving 11 million people in the shadows, not making our border safer, not having the information that comes from employment and these visa holders, we will be less safe in America," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

– CNN's Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. rs

    I find it interesting that one attempt to kill with a shoe bomb results in everyone having to remove their shoes before getting on an airplane; one (essentially domestic) terrorism event in Boston, and the GOP wants to scuttle immigration reform. We've has around 20 school shootings in the last decade- but the GOP sees no problem turning all gun legislation over to the wackadoodles of the NRA, essentially making the problem worse.
    And they wonder why they're losing elections.

    April 21, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Jules

    So we get a few bad apple immigrants in this country and they want to slow down or halt immigration. We had 27 people – 20 kids killed by a mass murderer firing off rounds of ammunition into these children, but we should not have any gun controls. Can't imagine how these minds work. Why don't they just try doing the right thing by the American people instead of the political thing. I'm so sick of these GOP senators that I have come to realize they are just as foolish as their counterparts in the House.

    April 21, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Tenie

    And most Americans are sick of dem senators who want to flood this country with those who would do us harm, and reward criminals.

    April 21, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Anthony in California

    @Tenie
    And most Americans are sick of dem senators who want to flood this country with those who would do us harm, and reward criminals.

    And most Americans are sick of Republican senators who want to flood this country with guns who would do us harm, and reward NRA & criminals.

    See how easy that was. I can do it too.

    April 21, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. porchhound

    FS you need to actually FOLLOW the news before you post...it was in NO WAY a domestic terrorist event. Secondly why the rush on this HUGE bill which is designed to alter our immigration policies far into the future? Why the rush indeed...someone might actually have time to READ this monstrosity. There is no guarantee ANY senator will be able to add amendments because this Gang of Eight has already spoken against it as being to "fragile" to survive changes...tell you anything folks?

    April 21, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Tony in Maine

    Oh for God's sake – grow up conservatives. There are no bogeymen under the bed. If your leaders and your media spent a few minutes more seeking solutions instead of peddling fear, the United States would return to the nation I was born in.

    BTW – everyone except 100% native Americans are from immigrant ancestors. And Tenie, most Americans are sick of people like you saying "most Americans" when, in truth, it's only 10% of the right that are so ignorant they blame everything on someone else.

    April 21, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    This is an excuse for the useless rethugs in congress to delay a vote they don't really want to tackle.
    It also points out that, while illegals, most landscapers or maids don't want to blow up the US!

    April 21, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Jim

    This is an important debate to have. We must have it now. Yes, we have been allowing immigrants from all over. Yes, we have been a melting pot of diversity. We take pride in that melting pot. Now we need to make sure that rotten ingredients do not foul up our melting pot. Some of these people should emigrate to countries like Saudi Arabia instead of coming to America.

    April 21, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  9. vikingwoman

    So by not moving forward on immigration, these guy's are saying we should just make do w/the broken system!? Huh? I seem to recall the GOT-Party being very vocal about immigration reform! Well, it's here, a bi-partisan law ready to go into effect, but they think we should sit on it! I must say I have never witnessed before, politicians tying themselves in knots to be contrary, against reason & their const.ituents interests, just to oppose 1 man! It would be funny if it wasn't so destructive!!

    April 21, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The gop is just playing Latino voters for suckers ,saying their doing something and then doing nothing ,they need to lose the house in 2014 midterms !!!!

    April 21, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. Richard Long

    How about we drop this Amnesty Bill all together? It does nothing to help the overall country.

    April 21, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Hey Lindsay – the more folks that immigrate, the more guns they can sell, the more money in your pocket via NRA. Chill.

    April 21, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. Just a thought

    @Tenie,

    Yeah right, the dem senators are actively recruiter folks to illegally come into this country. I guess its a new day, if you can't say something smart, just say something really dumb.

    This is a problem the country has been experiencing for 25 or more years. Its time those people that have made it to our country become citizens, come out of the shadows, how about start paying taxes like the rest of us?

    Ok, go back to your planet or wake the "heck" up before posting complete stupidity

    April 21, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. Just a thought

    @Tenie,

    ....uh......There's a chance your ancestors WERE NOT native americans. So that means you are likely the decendent of immigrants like the majority of americans. So we should ask this question....Did Democratic Senators recruit your family to come to America????...They didn't did they? Well one things for sure, your posts do not represent our best nor our brightest...far from it.! ! !

    April 21, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. Concerned citizen

    Honestly, I am sick and tired from Mrs. Lindsey (sorry for intentionally misspelling)! It's bad that President can serve only two terms; otherwise, Obama would get 3-rd one! And, I would vote for him for third time! Idiots!

    April 21, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    The Republican Party will go the way of the old Whig Party if it kills immigration reform.

    April 21, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein

    We still need to update the immigration laws. This shouldn't be a delay. Just because people get a permit to be here or citizenship; doesn't mean that they really mean it. These are words to some people with no meaning.

    April 21, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Larry L

    @Tenie

    And most Americans are sick of dem senators who want to flood this country with those who would do us harm, and reward criminals.
    ===============================
    The Boston bombers immigrated during the Bush Administration. Go back to watching Fox News.

    April 21, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  19. wigglwagon

    Boston or no Boston, America does not need more people unemployed. We already have 30 million looking for work.

    April 21, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. Neutral Observer

    rs,
    First, my understanding is that it was not exclusively the GOP who killed the gun control lesislation but also a number in the Democrat party. It died in the senate and the senate is controled by the democrat party. Jules: We also had 3000+ killed by foriegn terrorists on 9-11. Don't you relize that as the 2nd ammendment goes, so don't all the rest. As an independant I wish all of you would rely more on reason than on the letter (D or R) in front of the story.

    April 21, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Badboy

    I find it interesting that 3000 people were killed by immigrants who shouldn't have been here in the first place. Nobody gives a crap if a few people were killed or crippled by Islamic exgttremist radicals. Let them come and go as they please. The sorry INS doesnt even deport anyone anymore...they turn them loose back on the street.The reason people need guns is to protect themselves from the bad policies of liberal turds like Schumer, Feinstein and OblameO.

    April 21, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. Neutral Observer

    I recall some years back an auto worker from Detroit was found out to be an ex-Nazi. He was a US citizen since the 50's when he weasled his way out of Germany. That didn't save him though; his citizenship was revoked and he was sent to Israel for trial and I think found guilty. Could we not do the same with people made citizens who are found to be involved with terrorist activities? Or anyone given citizenship via amnesty and then found guilty of identity fraud?

    April 21, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  23. Dick Smegma

    Nothing.in the gun bill is related to the bombing
    Nor will.any.of the provisions prevent another nut from.killing.

    April 22, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  24. Gil Crawford

    The bombing is proof that you don't need a gun for mass destruction. We just learned that congress people try to pass laws on emotion for voting brownie points. NOTHING that any of the senators proposed would do anything for mass shootings PERIOD simply laws that reflect emotion. Wait till the country is full of ZETA's and LA FAMILLIA members and see what those artists can do with just a machete! Don't pass a reform just because your afraid if you don't it never will.

    April 22, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  25. Bernard obryant

    Congress is looking toward boston bombing as a stall to pass a nother bad bill we need to get the unwanted out of our country when they want to bomb us up we are american we are strong. We dont need whealter who living off our tax money wishing to do us harm. We a country that build make thing and work so go america and it value.

    April 22, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
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