Many in the United States now believe that the Boston bombings will derail immigration reform and that is because the suspects are both immigrants. One of the suspects who was killed was a lawful permanent resident and his brother who was captured is a naturalized US citizen. However, the senators who recently unveiled their immigration reform bill, say that their bill will improve the country’s national security as the bill will require all the undocumented immigrants to undergo background checks.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Senate immigration bill on Friday and another hearing will be held today. Though the Boston bombing is likely to complicate immigration reform, this may not be a reason to stop immigration reform. At Friday’s hearing on the immigration reform bill, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), stated that there are loopholes in the country’s immigration system and in reply, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated that it is not right to conflate the Boston bombing with the immigration reform bill.
The Senate immigration bill will permit the undocumented immigrants to obtain lawful status and many believe that the bill will enhance border security. Likewise, this bill will permit the undocumented immigrants to apply for lawful status only after the US Department of Homeland Security achieves the border security goals. Assistant Senate Majority Leader, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), stated that the new immigration reform bill unveiled by the senators will strengthen national security. Durbin, who is a part of the Gang of Eight also stated that immigration reform will make the country safer and that the bill contains several provisions that will directly address public safety.
Moreover, the bill will give an opportunity to the 11 million undocumented immigrants to come forward and undergo background checks and register with the US government. This bill will also expand the country’s E-verify program and the attack may not have an impact on the immigration debate. Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., argued that the people who want to slow down the process are merely trying to kill immigration reform. He stated that it is time to reform the immigration laws and bring immigrant families out of shadows.