Right sees an opportunity, linking Boston and immigration

Updated
 
Boston suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Boston suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Within 24 hours of the attack on the Boston Marathon, when there were incorrect reports from some media outlets about the nationality of a possible suspect, we saw clowns like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) rush to link terrorism and immigration.

Expect this talk to get much louder.

Indeed, at the start of a Senate hearing this morning on immigration policy, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) went right to work, noting, “We appreciate the ability to talk about immigration, particularly in light of the events in Boston.”

As Greg Sargent reported, right-wing activists have been less subtle, with some declaring reform legislation “DOA” in light of the apparent fact that the suspected bombers are of Chechen origin and immigrated to the United States.

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.

I think that’s right, though I’d add one related thought.

If I’m hearing the right correctly, the fact that two immigrants came to the U.S. and became alleged terrorists necessarily means we should be more restrictive – after all, if we’re letting terrorists in the country, there’s a problem.

But in Boston, based on the latest available information, one of the suspects is a 19 year old who entered the country a decade ago. In other words, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was just nine when he came to the U.S. and began attending public schools.

Are we to believe the U.S. immigration system should be designed to identify nine-year-old children as potential terrorist threats 10 years later? Is that the new argument against comprehensive reform?

Boston

Right sees an opportunity, linking Boston and immigration

Updated