GOP anti-immigrant nativists seize on Boston bombers to oppose ‘Gange of Eight’ immigration reform bill

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Talk about unfortunate circumstances and timing. Today was the first congressional hearing on the "Gang of Eight" comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The anti-immigrant nativists of the GOP "Know Nothing Party" seized on the events in Boston as a ready excuse to oppose immigration reform.

Based upon numerous media sources (I would urge caution given the shameful performance of the media this week), the "Boston Bombers" are 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, believed to be a permanent legal resident, and his brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a naturalized U.S. citizen.  The brothers are Muslims and ethnic Chechens. NBC news reported that the two are believed to have lived in the U.S. since 2002 or 2003 after coming to the country with their family, possibly as refugees.

That news prompted conservative critics to drag the events in Boston into the immigration debate. POLITICO Tiger Beat on the Potomac reports, Terrorism enters immigration debate:

Immigration reform faces a new hurdle — the Boston terrorist attack.

Conservative opponents pounced on news Friday that the two suspects in the case, Muslim brothers and ethnic Chechens, are believed to be legal permanent residents.

* * *

“We appreciate this opportunity to talk about immigration reform in light of all that has been happening in Massachusetts,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee Friday at an immigration reform hearing.

Greg Sargent reported this morning before the hearing, The Morning Plum: Foes of immigration reform pounce on Boston bombing:

Some on the right are already pouncing on the news to cast doubt on the desirability of immigration reform. This morning, Ann Coulter Tweeted:

It’s too bad Suspect # 1 won’t be able to be legalized by Marco Rubio, now.

Bryan J. Fisher is a conservative radio host who rails about the “amnesty” that Senator Marco Rubio — one of the Gang of Eight Senators – supposedly supports in the form of immigration reform. Fischer Tweeted the following in response to today’s news out of Boston:

I think we can safely say that Rubio’s amnesty plan is DOA. And should be. Time to tighten, not loosen, immigration policy.

Meanwhile, over at the Washington Examiner, Conn Carroll, a Rubio critic and immigration reform skeptic, wrote that we still don’t know a good deal about the two brothers, adding that today’s planned Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the new immigration reform proposal should be delayed. “Today is not the day for an immigration hearing,” Carroll concluded.

* * *

It’s unclear thus far how widespread the effort among conservatives will be to connect the Boston bombing suspects to the immigration reform debate. But it’s certainly something that bears watching. If this argument picks up steam, it will be another indication of how ferocious the resistance on the right to immigration reform is going to get.

It's pretty clear that Chuck Grassley is a willing participant ready to demagogue this bill. POLITICO continues:

Key immigration reform negotiators tried to tamp down the efforts to link the events to the debate.
A spokesman for Sen. Marco Rubio, Alex Conant, released a statement Friday afternoon.

“There are legitimate policy questions to ask and answer about what role our immigration system played, if any, in what happened,” Conant said. “Regardless of the circumstances in Boston, immigration reform that strengthens our borders and gives us a better accounting of who is in our country and why will improve our national security. Americans will reject any attempt to tie the losers responsible for the attacks in Boston with the millions of law-abiding immigrants currently living in the US and those hoping to immigrate here in the future.”

Another key immigration negotiator, Sen. Chuck Schumer, went on offense, too.

“I’d like to ask that all of us not jump to conclusions regarding the events in Boston, not conflate those events with this legislation,” Schumer said.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart told the Miami Herald Grassley should hold his fire.

“Linking something like that to other legislation I think is probably no appropriate at this time. In the first place, we don’t have the facts. And what is indisputable, is that we have an immigration system that is broken; that we have an immigration system that is not working.”

* * *

Immigration reform proponents said the attacks show how desperate the far-right is to stop the bill.

“It’s outrageous that a senator would try to exploit an ongoing terror situation in a major U.S. city for partisan political purposes,” said Frank Sharry of America’s voice. “The facts aren’t even clear… It was just shameless demagoguery trying to connect what’s happening in Boston with a long overdue immigration reform bill.”

You can bet that the conservative media entertainment complex, and the feckless "lamestream" media which follows its lead, are going to begin another round of "Islamofascism" and "Islamic Jihad" and "Sharia law" fear mongering and demagoguery to scapegoat Muslim Americans as an excuse to derail the comprehensive immigration reform bill. These haters are shameless.

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