Boston bombing sparks immigration debate

Boston bombing sparks immigration debate

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  • More Coverage: Boston Marathon BombingsMore>>

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    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:50:47 GMT
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  • Death penalty proposal due on marathon suspect

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    Thursday, October 31 2013 1:58 PM EDT2013-10-31 17:58:09 GMT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -

The brothers suspected of the Boston bombing have shaken up the immigration debate on Capitol Hill.  That debate is coming to a head at the same time senior FBI and intelligence officials face tough questions in a closed-door hearing Tuesday.

The Boston Marathon bombings are having an impact on the state of immigration reform.  A heated exchange between senators Charles Schumer and Charles Grassley took place during a hearing.

"I say that particularly those that were pointing to what happened -the terrible tragedy in Boston, as a --uh- I would say an excuse, for not doing a bill or delaying it many months or years," said Schumer.

Grassley says, "I never said that!"

"I didn't say you.. I didn't say you did, sir," replied Schumer.

When the Tsarnaev brothers carried out their alleged terrorist attack on Boston, they renewed questions about security concerning the millions of illegal and legal immigrants living in America.  Both suspects came to the U.S. legally as children from Russia.  The question is how did they become radicalized.

"Let no one be so cruel as to try to use the heinous acts of two young men last week to derail the dreams and futures of millions of hardworking people," said Sen. Patrick Leahy.

But some members of the "Gang of 8" -- the key architects of a bipartisan plan for immigration reform say the Boston bombings should have an impact on the issue.

Sen. Lindsey Graham pointed out how Russia informed the FBI that older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed during a gun battle with police, was a radical Islamist with possible ties to militant groups.

"From August 2012 up until the incident, there was clearly signs that this guy was becoming more dangerous.  How did we miss that?  It seems to me that the system failed more than the FBI, and if that's true, we need to fix the system," he said.

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