Immigration Reform Affected by Boston Marathon Attack -- O'Donnell Law Analyzes the Situation

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While many believe the Boston Marathon bombings will delay Immigration Reform, key Senators stress the importance of a bill as a means to strengthen national security.

Latino Immigration Reform Supporters show their Patriotism

The bill continues to receive heavy support from the Democrats in Congress. What surprised many is the rhetoric used by prominent Republicans.

The world watched as news poured about the Tsarnaev brothers' place of origin and their immigration status. Some critics figured this would affect the Immigration Reform bill in a negative way and the bill all together could be in jeopardy; however, it seems the opposite occurred this past week. O'Donnell Law discusses in this article how the event affects immigration reform.

Kelly O'Donnell predicts "turnaround time might be affected if resources are heavily focused on screening individuals. Many are concerned about sleeper cells using our system to gain access into the United States." The Virginia immigration lawyer pointed out, "tougher screenings benefit the immigrant community by removing individuals who are threats to their safety as well."

The two Chechen brothers went through the appropriate legal channels to obtain legal status in the United States; Tamerlan Tsarnaev had a citizenship application pending, while Dzhokar Tsarnaev became a citizen on September 11, 2012. This revelation reignited the immigration topic in Congress.

Despite the bombings, the bill continues to receive heavy support from the Democrats in Congress. What surprised many is the rhetoric used by prominent Republicans regarding the issue after the attacks. According to a Washington Post article by Jennifer Rubin on April 22, 2013, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Paul Ryan (R- WI) view the attacks as a means to advocate for a tougher filtering system which makes the process longer, more expensive, and transparent.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote a letter to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) regarding the issue. A recent press release, containing the letter, states "Sen. Paul believes that national security protections must be rolled into comprehensive immigration reform to make sure the federal government does everything it can to prevent immigrants with malicious intent from using our immigration system to gain entry into the United States in order to commit future acts of terror." The press release issued on April 22, 2013 can be found on Sen. Rand Paul's website.

In sum, O'Donnell Law believes the proposed tougher background checks may delay the naturalization process for millions when they go through the immigration system. However, it could identify potential threats. The bombings put immigration reform on the same level as national security; therefore, attracting more support from Republicans who want to appease their conservative constituents and win over Latino voters in future elections.

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