Why? Under what provision of the current law were they deemed eligible for entry?
They apparently came to the country at the ages of 15 and 8, which will raise questions about the admission of families with young children and teenagers from war-torn regions of intense, prolonged fanatical conflict.
The push for immigration reform has a new set of challenges today. Of course the bill isn’t dead, but its sponsors should delay debate on the bill until there is a full and complete account of how the children who became terrorists came into the country.
In my interview of Senator Rubio Tuesday (transcript here), the senator said that one of the reasons that immigration reform is urgently necessary is so we “can concentrate your resources on going after the bad guys.” He continued:
Now you can concentrate your resources on deporting the dangerous criminals, the ones we have in jail, the ones that are out there gang-banging. And then that’s one of the reasons why I think this is so important, so we can sift through what we have here now and ensure that none of these bad guys are getting to stay.
He later added:
Do not be [under], and have any illusion. There are terrible criminals both in this country and abroad who plot constantly and incessantly against the United States. In essence, there are multiple interests all over the world that want to strike at us, whether it’s in the U.S. Senate, whether it’s Boston, whether it’s somewhere else. I mean, do not, we should not be under any illusion in that regard.
I then raised with him the comments by Congressman King:
HH: Congressman Steven King, Republican of Iowa, earlier today told National Review some of the speculation about Boston has come out that yes, it was a foreign national, speculating that it was potentially a person on a student visa. If that’s the case, then we need to take a look at the big picture. If we can’t background check people that are coming from Saudi Arabia, how do we think we’re going to background check the 11-20 million people that are here from who knows where? Since that time, we know it’s not the Saudi Arabian student that was a “person of interest”. Nevertheless, I don’t think it follows that whoever is behind Boston implies any kind of slowdown in our desire to background check, Senator Rubio. Your response to this?
MR: Well first of all, you can’t, all background checks can tell you is what people have done in the past. I think that’s true no matter what. It can’t always predict what someone will decide to do in the future, and we know that one of the risks we run is home grown terrorist threats, in essence, people that are born and raised their entire life in the United States, that are being recruited online and being radicalized online. We know that that’s a threat. We’re aware of that. We’ve been talking about that. That’s a problem. And so I don’t think that’s an immigration bill problem. I think that’s a problem that the modern threat of terrorism poses our country. I just think it’s very dangerous to link Boston to anything with regards to this immigration reform system. I certainly think that, I actually think it adds credence to the argument that we need to move forward on this, because we have a broken process. We literally have 10 or 11 million people living in the United States. Now please, I want to be very clear, I’m not making any connection between immigration and the attack on Boston. I’m just speaking in general terms now about national security and the national interest of the United States. It is not good for this country to have 10 or 11 million people living here who we don’t know who they are, we have no idea where they are or why they’re here. The vast, enormous and overwhelming majority are people that are here to work and improve their lives. But we need to figure out who they are so that they can start paying taxes, and so we can ensure that this never ever happens again, that we never find ourselves in this position again.
He is right of course –a reformed system would allow for the focus of enforcement to be on the security threats –from cartels, gangs and of course and obviously terrorists and terrorists-in-the-making– but the new bill will have to be very, very specific on how that happens.
And Senator Rubio is also right that “background checks” if done on “clean” people do no good whatsoever.
Part of that solution will be very tough screening of applicants. And part of it will be the much discussed border fence –lots and lots of double-sided, easily patrolled border fence.
Terrorists willing to come here to kill and maim via elaborate plots won’t be declining in numbers over the next few years, and their killing abilities won’t be getting less lethal.
Senator Rubio was right to speak candidly of the problems of leaving millions of undocumented aliens in place without any sort of enforcement.
The solution, though, has to be very strong enforcement at the border, of those seeking to enter legally and those who, denied that opportunity, will try and come here by any means possible.
Spend the weekend reading the bill, and get ready for months of debate. The Boston terrorists didn’t change the debate so much as they clarified its most urgent aspects –security, security, security.