News / USA

US Senator: Boston Bombing Must Not Derail Immigration Reform

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (r) and, Republican Senator Charles Grassley, April 22, 2013.
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (r) and, Republican Senator Charles Grassley, April 22, 2013.
Michael Bowman
An influential U.S. senator says the Boston bombing must not be used as an excuse to block or delay overhauling America’s immigration system. The emergence of a bipartisan immigration reform proposal has been overshadowed by the nation’s preoccupation with events in Boston.
 
Both Boston bombing suspects came to the United States legally from faraway lands, but some Republican lawmakers have cited their alleged actions as an example of what can happen if Congress carries immigration reform too far.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy says the Boston bombings should not be exploited for political purposes.

“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 hard-working people," said Leahy.

Leahy is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which met Monday to examine a bipartisan proposal that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants in the nation. The bill also mandates tougher border security and seeks to crack down on employers who hire non-legal workers.

Leahy argued that, if anything, immigration reform is a way to improve U.S. public safety.

“The bill before us would serve to strengthen our national security by allowing us to focus our border security and enforcement efforts against those who do us harm," he said. "A nation as strong as ours can welcome the oppressed and persecuted without making compromises to our security.”

The committee's top Republican, Charles Grassley, objected to Leahy’s suggestion that the immigration plan's opponents are exploiting the Boston bombings. Grassley noted that many Democrats have linked tragedy to politics by citing recent mass shootings in the United States as a reason to support tougher gun restrictions. Grassley said what is needed is careful and reasoned debate on immigration policy.

“I think we are taking advantage of an opportunity, when once in 25 years we deal with immigration, to make sure that every base is covered," said Grassley.

The Republican senator noted that immigration reform undertaken in the 1980s failed to stem the flow of illegal border-crossers. He said lawmakers have a duty to prevent a repeat, necessitating careful consideration and full debate of the proposed reform bill.

“There are 92 other senators that must get their chance to improve this bill in a deliberative process," he said.

Polls show a majority of Americans favor an immigration system overhaul, including a path to citizenship for those living illegally in the country.  Whether the bipartisan bill will win enough votes to pass both houses of a politically divided Congress remains to be seen.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid