Immigration Reform and Boston
The Senate began hearings on the immigration reform bill today. Bashing immigrants legal and otherwise has been a small cottage industry for right wing demagogues for quite a while now. The Boston incident has given the opponents of reform a good excuse to jettison the whole bill. Let the immigrant bashing begin. Facts are optional.
Senator Charles Grassley last week linked the Boston bombing suspects to the fate of immigration legislation — and now immigration-reform supporters are lashing out.
We should slow down reform, the Iowa Republican said, to make sure we are properly screening for terrorists. “Given the events of this week, it’s important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system,” Grassley said. “While we don’t yet know the immigration status of people who have terrorized the communities in Massachusetts, when we find out, it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system.”
If facts are important to you, check out Greg Siskind’s blog for detailed summary of the bill. His blog both factual and informative. Since he is an immigration lawyer, he is more knowledgeable than your average reporter about the dense thicket of immigration related issues.
ETA: A reader asked me to explain why I thought Grassley was wrong. First of all, we now know the immigration status of the two perpetrators. One was a permanent resident and the other was a naturalized citizen. To become a naturalized citizen one has to go through background checks twice, once whilst becoming a permanent resident and again when applying for citizenship. And the system obviously worked since the older Tsarnev’s application for citizenship was still pending due to his brush with the FBI earlier. Also how can background checks protect against crimes that have yet to be committed? When they became permanent residents they were nine and sixteen, with clean records. But Grassley could not wait to rush to judgment without knowing all the details.