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Boston bombings: a new level of complexity on the immigration debate

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Two blood stained feet of a man hang outside an ambulance outside a medical tent located near the finish of the 117th Boston Marathon after two bombs exploded on the marathon route .
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Two blood stained feet of a man hang outside an ambulance outside a medical tent located near the finish of the 117th Boston Marathon after two bombs exploded on the marathon route .
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

An additional level of complexity has emerged in the light of the immigration overhaul debate.

The Boston Marathon bombings, recognized as acts of terrorism, present a powerful motive to scrutinize the loopholes of the U.S. immigration system and -as lawmakers said Friday- to strengthen security measures.

"How can individuals evade authority and plan such attacks on our soil?'' Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), asked at a Senate hearing.

Grassley, who is skeptical toward the proposed immigration reform, said learning more about the Boston suspects, would help on finding the immigration system‘s weaknesses.

The new legislation bill, which was unveiled in the Senate just two days after Monday's bombings, makes the case to strengthen security by implementing more surveillance and fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border and by collecting more information from immigrants.

The initiative also calls for a system to track the usage of visas as immigrants exit the country, to also trace those immigrants who remain.

The Tsarnaev brothers -19-year old Dzhokhar, and 26-year-old Tamerlan, both suspects in the Boston bombings- were in the U.S. legally, according to law-enforcement officials.

The immigration Senate bill proposes tamper-proof Social Security cards and additional information from immigrants, but leaves behind a scrutinized biometric I.D. system.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) one of the authors of the proposed immigration bill, said he’d welcome a push for more biometric information, but he also cautioned against letting the fact that the two suspects were foreigners, cause a backlash against immigration.

"You can't just say no one can ever come to the country,'' Mr. Graham said. "So, if they came here legally and they got radicalized, that's no different to me than being born here and getting radicalized."

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