During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Friday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” urged his Senate colleagues and members of the media at the immigration bill hearing to not tie the bill to the Boston terror attack bombings. After he made the request, he proceeded to do exactly what he asked others to not do.
“Before I get to the bill, I’d like to ask that all of us not jump to conclusions regarding the events in Boston or try to conflate those events with this legislation,” Schumer said.
But, after Schumer made that plea, he commented on immigration reform, including the specific Gang of 8 bill, in the context of the Boston terror attacks.
“In general, we are a safer country when law enforcement knows who is here, has their fingerprints, photos, et cetera, background checks,” Schumer said.
“In addition, both the refugee program and asylum program have been strengthened in the past five years such that we are much more careful about screening people in terms of who should and should not be coming into the country,” Schumer added. “If there are any changes that our homeland security experts tell us need to be made, I’m committed to making them.”
Schumer’s comments came after the committee’s Ranking GOP Member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) mentioned the Boston bombing earlier in the hearing. Schumer’s chastisement of his colleagues about mentioning the Boston attack appeared to be a response to Grassley.
“We also appreciate the opportunity to talk about immigration, particularly in light of all that’s happening in Massachusetts right now and over the last week,” Grassley said to open the hearing. “We are here trying to understand why these events have occurred. It’s hard to understand that there are people in this world that want to do Americans harm, so this hearing is an opportunity to refocus on the issues at hand and the importance of remaining vigilant and secure in our homeland.”