Boston Bombing Suspects: Immigration Reform Skeptics Use Marathon Incident To Push Political Agenda

  @LauraMatt on April 19 2013 12:24 PM

Gun-rights advocates and people skeptical about immigration reform have taken the opportunity this week to use details about the Boston bombing suspects to make political statements.

Authorities have identified brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, said to be from Chechnya, as suspects. The two killed an MIT police officer and threw explosives at police in pursuit before Tamerlan was killed Thursday night.

Conservative commentator and columnist Ann Coulter had lashed out earlier in the week against Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., part of the "gang of eight" bispartisan senators who drafted the 2013 immigration reform bill, calling him a Mount Vesuvius of lies on immigration reform and saying “If you think Republicans are Hispandering now, wait until the children of 20 million illegal aliens start to vote. Rubio's amnesty isn't just bad for America, it’s the end of America.” And on Friday, after the older Tsarnaev was killed in a police shootout, Coulter took to Twitter:

That was also after Coulter used the incident to tweet about her stance on gun control.  

But Coulter isn’t the only conservative to politicize the Boston bombings. A day after the two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 160 others, Rep. Steve King of Iowa called on lawmakers to delay comprehensive immigration reform.

“Some of the speculation that has come out is that yes, it was a foreign national and, speculating here, that it was potentially a person on a student visa,” King told the National Review. “If that’s the case, then we need to take a look at the big picture.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, echoed similar conclusions Wednesday when he appeared on a C-Span program. “We have seen this in Israel,” Gohmert said. “Finally the Israeli people said this is enough. They built a fence and the rest is a wall to prevent snipers from killing their kids. They finally stopped the domestic violence from people that wanted to destroy them. I am concerned we need to do that as well.”

Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham also believed the bombings should heighten concern about immigration reform.

“It is interesting that at this moment, we are considering legalizing or giving regularized status to millions of people,” she said, as reported on Mediaite.com. “Pretty much none of them have gone through any rigorous background checks.”

“I just think there are all sorts of security implications aside from the other arguments on immigration, national security implications that we don’t talk [about] with enough frankness and certitude here,” she added. “We can’t stop every attack, but my goodness, if we had borders that were shut down, and we actually had a proper screening process, maybe we could stop some of them.”

At a Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform Friday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sought to make a connection with the bombings, saying, “Given the events of this week, it’s important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system. While we don’t yet know the immigration status of the people who have terrorized the communities in Massachusetts, when we find out, it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system.”

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