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Terrorism alters immigration bill debate

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (l.) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (r.) are suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. The brothers immigrated to the United States from Kyrgyzstan. AP Photo/The Lowell Sun/Robin Young
TimesLedger Newspapers

Some borough advocates of federal immigration reform are concerned that a new bipartisan measure to overhaul the current system will be derailed by the Boston Marathon bombings, allegedly carried out by two young men who immigrated to the United States from Kyrgyzstan.

Ana Maria Archila, co-director of Make the Road New York, an organization that advocates for Latino and working-class communities and has an office in Jackson Heights, said she is worried some in Congress who are opposed to the immigration bill will try to capitalize on the bombings for their own political ends.

“I have concerns that people on the anti-immigration side will try to use Boston to derail immigration reform,” she said. “They will use whatever they can to prevent that from happening.”

She said she agreed with the argument made by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that immigration reform would help to bring immigrants out of the shadows and better integrate them into the fabric of American society.

“Immigration reform will only help create more safety and security,” she said.

Steven Choi, executive director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action in Flushing, an advocacy group for the Korean-American community, said he thinks a delay on a vote would be nonsensical, pointing out that the nation has been debating immigration reform for 20 years and everyone agrees it is a broken system.

He also said the Boston Marathon bombing suspects’ immigrant status is not relevant to the current debate.

The two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, who were brothers, were ethnic Chechens. Tamarlan Tsarnaev, 26, was a legal resident and died in a shootout with police last week. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, a naturalized citizen, was arrested last week.

“Calls for delay are really disingenuous,” Choi said, adding that they “are really calls to block it and we have to recognize that.”

But U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) said he thought there was too much political will on the Republican side to thwart reform.

“In past elections, especially on the Republican side, we’ve seen that if we don’t do immigration reform in a hurry, we can lose out on a particular vote, and some for a long period of time,” he said.

“I think that the individuals who were moving forward on the Senate side are not going to be deterred, and in the House both sides are talking among one another,” he added. “You may have someone come up with an amendment or two, but not one that will substantially change the bill.”

Schumer is one of eight senators who drafted bipartisan legislation that would overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. The bill provides a 13-year path to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally, but it also requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to invest in strengthening border security before illegal immigrants would be allowed to apply for a green card.

Other measures in the bill would also make another bombing like the one in Boston less likely, a spokeswoman with Schumer’s office said. For instance, the bill would mandate background checks for illegal immigrants in order to receive Registered Provisional Immigrant status, and as part of that process photos and other vital information would be collected and put into the legal system.

It also requires a border entry-exit system to be up and running that relies on swiping an official card, similar to a passport, instead of typing a name into an airline’s manifest.

Tamarlan Tsarnaev’s name was apparently misspelled on a passenger manifest when he went to Russia in 2012, and thus the FBI was not automatically made aware of his movements.

But there have been some calls among Republicans to delay a vote on immigration reform in order to allow more details of the bombings to emerge and to provide time to scrutinize the national security provisions of the bill.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) Monday asking that national security concerns be taken into account in the immigration reform debate in the wake of the bombings and requesting that a vote on the bill not proceed until specific failures of the immigration system are better understood.

“The facts emerging in the Boston Marathon bombing have exposed a weakness in our current system,” he wrote. “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.”

But at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the legislation Monday Schumer argued against what he said were efforts to derail or delay a vote on the bill under the guise of concern about the Boston bombings and said the bill could be amended if there were ways to improve it as a result of what happened in Boston.

“Certainly our bill tightens up things in a way that would make a Boston less likely,” he said.

Reporters Joe Anuta and Rich Bockmann contributed to this story.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at kfrantz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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Dave Francis from EVERYWHERE says:
Amendments that must be introduced to the progressive
“Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act” known as Senate bill 744! 1. IF THE CONGRESS WANTS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE’S TRUST
AGAIN, THEY MUST RESCIND THE CIVIL LAW VIOLATION FOR ENTERING THE UNITED STATES
WITHOUT LAWFUL AUTHORITY. RECLASSIFY THE LAW AS A CLASS 1 FELONY AND
OVERSTAYING AN EXPIRED VISA WITHOUT MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES THE SAME PENALTY?

IN THE WORDS OF THE
HERITAGE FOUNDATION “Amnesty Costs 70 Times More than Enforcement” and each and
every one of us can read the facts and not the propaganda from the left at NumbersUSA.org?
The cost of amnesty: $999 billion.

The cost of attrition by enforcement: as
little as $14 billion.

Amnesty would cost up to 70 times as much as
enforcing existing law. The only people who are going to suffer horribly are
the under privileged Americans of every skin color, who live under the poverty
level, old folks, the special needs individuals and the sick and maimed military services. Also included is the
largest proportion of the Americans who remain jobless. WASHINGTON WOULD RATHER
PANDER TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, THEN FIX OUR IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT WHICH IS
NOTHING BUT LAUGHABLE AS PEOPLE FEEL INSECURE FROM INEPT POLITICIANS.

TOO MUCH DISCRETION LEFT
TO LIBERALS INCOMPETENCY as the H.S. Secretary Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder and
the other minions. TO MANY LOOPHOLES FOR THOSE IN HOMELAND SECURITY, TO CHANGE
ON A WHIM ANY NEW LAWS.

2. Nonsensically as it
seems, Washington has remained unconcerned and even ignorant about the border
fence. The fence that was committed to was never completed, as only 14 miles of
the 700 mile fencing ever existed. It was de-funded by a Texan Republican; even before
the ink was dry on the act. Four members of the Gang of Eight surveyed a
certain heavily populated sector of the border and never strayed to the
thousands of miles, with nothing but some leaning barbed wire. Those who believe
we are well protected from drug smugglers, people traffickers and other heinous
criminals, needs to investigate the daily relay of media articles and reports
only found at AMERICAN PATROL.COM.
Americans should be looking at a high streamlined, double set of fencing
attired with vicious barbed wire. Former
president Bush signed this into law as the 2006 Secure Fence Act and most of it
remains, diagrams on paper, stifled by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson who
dismissed it as incidental, and allowed the discretion of Homeland Security to
allocate the money wherever it pleased them?

3.. OUR IDENTIFICATION OF INDIVIDUAL IS BROKEN AND
SO TO ASSURE A U.S. CITIZEN, PERMANENT RESIDENT (GREEN CARD) IS HIRED, EVERY
LEGAL PERSON SHOULD BE ISSUED WITH A MANDATORY BIOMETRIC ID CARD. THE SOCIAL
SECURITY ON ITS OWN HAS BEEN COMPROMISED AND OBSOLETE AND FOREIGN NATIONALS ARE
STEALING PEOPLE’S PERSONAL INFORMATION, CREDIT AND GOING SO FAR AS TO COMMIT PERJURY
AND VOTE IN OFFICIAL ELECTIONS. In that the E-Verify electronic system is
likely to pass as a mandatory law, it is raising concerns amongst the Tea
Party, Independents and Conservatives, that there is no serious prosecution for
hiring illegal migrants or immigrants. It is essential that an amendment be
brought before the Gang of Eight and current committees, that there should be
mandatory punishment, including heavy fines and prison sentences; otherwise
E-Verification is a waste of time. In evidence today is Americans who pay the
salaries and outrageous benefits to those who are supposedly defending our
rights in Washington, other than a limited few have really been indoctrinated with
money, favors from the lobbyists and special interest. Known as Corporate
welfare the wealthy do have the last say to those we foolishly elect over and
over again. By adding expensive tit-bits to bills (Pork) to vote upon, on
behalf of their constituency, they have their foolish

4. Is it deliberate
that the BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL has been overlooked in this Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Bill? Are the taxpayers forever going to pay for the
children of illegal aliens, which is an alternate method for financially
supporting the other adult family members? Only the offspring of a U.S. citizen
should be entitled to the right to citizenship, not the smuggled progeny, or
the children of family members already here? This has undoubtedly been the contentious
issue of the “Anchor Baby” whereas people are starved of a better word, to
describe babies who have gained illegal admittance across our borders, or
entered illegally under the pretext as a visitor on an airline or even be boat
or ferry. Agents of the government are unable to detect an unborn fetus, so the
people who are writing the Senate Bill 744, should make it a matter of policy
to allow only the infants of a citizen, to become a citizen. The “Foothold baby”
who becomes an automatic citizen under the misinterpreted present law, can
collect a free education, health care and all the benefits of low income
citizens. Under the Obama’s current law, there is hardly any restriction for
food stamps and an “Electronic Benefit Transfer Card (EBT) for welfare payments,
for every child in the family circle, which includes vouchers for government
housing. By far this fictitious law of instant citizenship renders to the
babies of illegal immigrants hundreds of billions of dollars in state and
federal funds.

All these four issues if implemented into the Opportunity and
Immigration Modernization Act would be a massive financial boon for the
shrinking dollars deficits, in the state or federal
funds as well as the U.S. Taxpayer. CONTACT YOUR TWO U.S. SENATORS TODAY and urge them to oppose
S.744! You can call the Capitol Terminal board toll-free at 1-888-978-3094.
Learn more about this new potential Immigration Reform Bill, in relation to the
huge fraudulent 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act at NumbersUSA.org as
well in petitioning your arguments and standing on this new law. INSIST NO PATH
TO CITIZENSHIP?
April 25, 2013, 9:55 pm

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