(CNN) – Rep. Paul Ryan, number two on the GOP's presidential ticket in 2012, said Monday that last week's bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon should be an impetus to modernize the current immigration system, refuting calls from some Republicans to halt the revamp amid an ongoing investigation.
"I would say for the sake of national security, I want to modernize our immigration laws," Ryan said. He was speaking at the invitation of Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, at the City Club of Chicago. "We do not know how to even track people who have overstayed their visas. We need a modern immigration system that not only helps us protect our border, but protects national security in all its aspects."
That's a different stance than some of Ryan's fellow Republicans, who have called for a delay in immigration legislation until investigators piece together more information about the bomb attack in Boston. The suspected perpetrators of that attack were born in Kyrgyzstan. The one surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, became a U.S. citizen in 2012, while his brother Tamerlan, who was killed during last week's manhunt, was a legal U.S. resident.
The Boston case "if anything, is an argument for modernizing our immigration laws," Ryan said Monday.
"We need it for national security reasons, and we need it for the economy."
The Wisconsin Republican, who chairs the House Budget Committee, also explained that immigration overhaul plans currently winding through Congress would help repair the looming shortfall in government entitlement programs.
"It will help our economy. This will benefit America's economy," the Wisconsin Republican said, noting the number of Americans retiring was far outpacing the number entering the workforce.
"We need people to come and do work in this country so we can keep this country's promise alive," he said.
Ryan presented a budget proposal earlier this year that includes major changes to entitlement programs, with the goal of balancing the federal budget in a decade. Like his budget plans in years past, the measure would overhaul Medicare in ten years by shifting it from a government-run program to one that would give seniors support to help pay for private health care coverage.
Early in last year's presidential race, GOP nominee Romney took a hardline stance on immigration, favoring a system of "self-deportation" for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
Ryan voiced a divergent view Monday, saying a pathway to legality was essential in any repair of the immigration system.
"We have to offer people a path the earned legalization," Ryan said. "We have to invite people to come out of the shadows. We have to have a system that people have confidence in. It's a system where people who have been contributing here can right their record, can get themselves right with the law."
Such a pathway to citizenship is included in the Senate version of comprehensive immigration reform, which was unveiled by the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" last week. The 10-year pathway is conditional on a series of "triggers," including ensuring the U.S.-Mexico border is properly secured, and keeping better track of immigrants who enter the United States on visas.
Oh yeah right, Ryan! Let's just forget about all them dead and injured people in Boston and even more in Texas. We need to push the immigration reform ASAP. Even the GOPers are calling for him to wait until the investigations are over. What is wrong with him?
If provisions of the 1986 Immigration Reform Act allowed for continued Amnesty we would not be considering a new immigration reform bill. A few years ago Russia requested the UN add Chechen rebels to the UN Terrorist list and impose UN sanctions. The US blocked this action and instead offered the Chechens Political Asylum. We really stuck it to the Russians. Its only politics but these politics are costing lives. You are the last person I would trust
Now that's some actual rebranding in action.
You know, Mr. Ryan I agree with you this time!
immigration reform is needed ASAP
I believe this is the right whay to treat the emmigrant. after all the all contribute to the society one whay or the other
Rep. Paul Ryan, , supporter of deregulation and less bureaucracy .
Go tell the families of the workers at the fertilizer plant in texas , regulations are bad for business .
This is a good point. If there was no background check of a person how are you gonna find the suspect? By passing the immigration law they should be able to detect everyone. The system is broken everyone comes in with visas and stays here as long as they want. The borders need to be more secure. But no matter how big is the fences they will come from underground. They need to find a way stop that. Other than that i think passing this law will spark the economy. They will have to pay taxes and penalty.
This sounds all well and good, but will he work with the Senate bill should it pass?
This current Immigration Reform bill being proposed is not the answer and should die on the floor. For one, there should be absolutely no new Amnesties at all. The border security section of the bill is a joke and combined with granting amnesty would only open the flood gates for the next massive illegal invasion.
It wouldn't even have occurred to me that the Boston attack would cause Congress to delay immigration reform. Why would Ryan even suggest that it would?
Paul Ryan has NO clue about diplomacy, compassion, or how to heal this country through a crisis....his reform is a nightmare, and his past rhetoric is fuel for conservative maniacs who once again, will try to blame Obama for everything....and where's the choir boy Rubio? Republicans just don't get the mood of most middle class Americans – gun control, tax breaks only for the middle class (NOT the Koch Brothers) and women need to be able to make their own choices!
A national I.D. card with coded data would solve the problem. However, Ryan would be one of the first to rant about "the mark of the beast" or some other evangelical nonsense associated with the card. I suppose "Lyin'n Ryan"thinks he's got a shot at 2106...
This rubbish comes straight from the mouth of the stupid (ryan). Putting the attacks aside this country can't afford to hand out amnesty..we have 20 million unemployed or underemployed and all this bill will do is promote more illegal immigration and cost taxpayers trillions. It is a slap in the face of those trying to immigrate legally and is bad for the American worker and the country. Start enforcing current immigration laws, start leaning on those who hire illegals and once there are no jobs for the illegals, they will go back where they came from and save the taxpayer trillions, plus the jobs they currently are doing illegally can go to Americans (and don't give me that BS about jobs Americans won't do!)
Paul Ryan is showing some common sense, moderation, and bi-partisanship on the immigration reform issue although it may displease some in his party.
Big business wants all the slave labor that can get! As long as the American taxpayer pays for the illegals education, food stamps, disablity, healthcare, socal security, medicare, medicaid, etc, etc....
AMNESTY for 11-19 million illegals? When each one of them bring in 10 of their family members its more like 100 million!. Add it up, each one brings in 1 spouse, 2 parents, 3 siblings, 4 children, thats 10!
Hopefully it will galvanize the nation against looser immigration. We need to secure the border and know beyond the shadow of a doubt who we are letting in the country.
Who cares Ayn Lyin' Ryan? You and your part are irrelevant. You've spent the last 5 yrs saying "No" and it didn't win you the presidency...What makes you think we care about anything you say now?
Uh oh, Ryan said something Liberals should agree with. Or will they change their stance now?
RYAN.........why don't you just shut up and get a real job??? Nobody is listening to you any more.....You are SOOOOO yesterday!!!!!
Hey Ryan, stoop blocking reform.
According to Maureen Dowd, Obama's difficuties with US Congress was his inability to work the system. Regrettably, that statement was not deep enough to prescribe curatives for cases the gridlocks insurrected from hate politics...or why Congress should allow their grudge against Obama override their duty to America people...........Why Tag Romney should prefer to watch the Red Socks on his Television instead of being with them at the Boston Marathon live. Why President Obama, whose charm, love for people & oratory as well as intellect are recognised & applauded world over ....and by majority of Americans are eternally disliked by the Repubs. This is not politics.
There is a path. Follow the existing laws and do not reward criminal behavior. Unemployment and welfare roles would be near zero when we rid ourselves of those here illegally.
And what Ryan SAYS matters because???