Bombers Raise Immigration Questions, Says Rubio Spox

The Tsarnaev brothers

The Tsarnaev brothers


The origins of the two suspects in the bombing of the Boston Marathon raise questions about the American immigration system, a spokesman for Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said Friday.

The statement by Alex Conant, Rubio’s press secretary, went on to say that:

And that:

The identities of the two suspects, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, were revealed Friday hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee met to consider the immigration reform compromise agreed to by the so-called “Gang of Eight” that includes Rubio.

The Tsarnaev brothers are ethnic Chechens who have lived in the United States for approximately a decade. Tamerlan, who died of injuries sustained during a gunfight with law enforcement late Thursday, had a green card. Dzhokar, who remains at large, became a naturalized citizen of the United States on Sept. 11, 2012.

The Gang of Eight compromise would grant green cards to the estimated 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States, as well as their overseas family members who may have been deported. They would then be granted citizenship after a period of years and paying a fine.

“Given the events of this week, it’s important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) said at the Judiciary Committee hearing. “While we don’t yet know the immigration status of the people who have terrorized the communities in Massachusetts, when we find out, it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano canceled a scheduled appearance at the hearing in order to follow the rapid developments in Boston, which remained on lockdown Friday afternoon.