WASHINGTON — New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer admonished colleagues not to “try to conflate” the immigration reform bill that the Senate is considering with the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the perpetrators of which have been identified as immigrants.
“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 Friday at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the immigration bill.
As the hearing was happening, the Boston metropolitan area was on lockdown, as police attempted to capture one of the suspects in the bombing, who was feared to be carrying explosives.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican member on the committee, suggested that “immigration status” of the suspected perpetrators of the bombings should be taken into account as they considered this legislation as it would “help shed light on the weaknesses of our system,” and said that the hearing was particularly relevant in light of the developments in Boston. (RELATED: Grassley ties immigrant Boston suspects to immigration bill at hearing)
Schumer, a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight that authored the bill, pushed back on any link between the bill and the bombing.
“If there are any changes that our Homeland Security experts tell us need to be made, I’m committed to making them,” he said.
But, he cautioned that senators make sure they have the full and complete picture before making any conclusions about a possible connection.
“Two days ago, as you may recall, there were widespread erroneous reports of arrests being made. This just emphasizes how important it is to allow the actual facts to come out before jumping to any conclusions about Boston,” he said.