This just in from Washington and today’s Senate Judicial Committee hearing on immigration. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D), the committee’s chairman, shared his comments about the recent Boston Marathon bombings and how they were being used by immigration reform opponents for political gain.
“Last week, opponents of comprehensive immigration reform began to exploit the Boston marathon bombing,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said at a hearing on the contentious issue. “I urge restraint in that regard. … Let no one be so cruel as to try to use the heinous attacks of these two young men last week to derail the dreams and futures of millions of hard-working people.”
Leahy said the bill crafted by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” would “serve to strengthen our national security by allowing us to focus our border security and enforcement efforts against those who would do us harm.”
“A nation as strong as ours can welcome the oppressed and persecuted without making compromises in our security,” he said. “We are capable of vigilance in our pursuit of these values, and we have seen the tremendous work that the local law enforcement as well as the federal law enforcement have done in the Boston area, and I am so proud of them.”
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R), who made some very controversial remarks last week about the bombings and the need to not push immigration reform, responded to Leahy:
“I want you to take note of the fact that when you proposed gun legislation, I didn’t accuse you of using the (Newtown, Connecticut) killings as an excuse I don’t hear any criticism … when there (were) 14 people killed in West Texas, and (some political activists took) advantage of that tragedy to warn about more government action to make sure that fertilizer factories are safe,” Grassley said. “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.”