Rand Paul: Immigration Security Must Be Tightened

Monday, 22 Apr 2013 03:57 PM

By Dan Weil

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In light of the Boston bombings, the Senate must look at immigration security shortcomings before considering comprehensive immigration reform, Sen. Rand Paul wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The two suspected bombers are ethnic Chechens who immigrated here legally. And the suspect who’s still alive, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, gained U.S. citizenship.

“The facts emerging in the Boston Marathon bombing have exposed a weakness in our current system,” Paul wrote. He said the Senate should “incorporate” additional security safeguards into immigration reform.

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“Before Congress moves forward, some important national security questions must be addressed,” Paul wrote in the letter which he posted on his website. “If we don't use this debate as an opportunity to fix flaws in our current system, flaws made even more evident last week, then we will not be doing our jobs.”

Congress needs to know how the suspects were able to enter the country, Paul said. “Why did the current system allow two individuals to immigrate to the United States from the Chechen Republic in Russia, an area known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism, who then committed acts of terrorism? Were there any safeguards? Could this have been prevented? Does the immigration reform before us address this?”

Paul has urged the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee to hold hearings to guarantee that “our current immigration system gives individuals from high-risk areas of the world heightened scrutiny.”

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