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Bloggings: Anti-immigrant Extremists Continue to Exploit the Boston Bombing: But is Paul Ryan Riding to the Rescue of CIR? by Roger Algase

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The usual immigrant-haters are rushing to exploit the Boston Marathon bombing in order to try to kill CIR. They have lost no time in pivoting from their economic scare tactics claiming that reform would allegedly be too costly, lower wages and take away American jobs, over to raising the specter of more terror attacks if reform goes through.


This rapid switch reminds me of a French movie which I saw many years ago.


In the movie, a street beggar is wearing a sign saying: Aveugle (blind). Suddenly, a rainstorm comes along. The beggar, who can in fact see as well as everyone else, takes off his sign and runs for shelter along with the rest of the crowd.


After the rain subsides, he ventures back out into the street, but since the people around him now know that he can see, he turns his sign around so that it says: Sourd-Muet (deaf and dumb).


There is no other way to describe a statement by Mark Kikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which has been pushing the economic argument against CIR. Krikorian asked whether the security checks in the Senate CIR bill would be adequate, citing an inconclusive FBI investigation of the older bombing brother suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, two years ago.


To cover himself, Krikorian also stated (according to Politico: Boston echoes in Senate immigration hearing, April 22), that the Boston bombing was not an excuse for delay in considering the bill, but by his connecting CIR with Boston, the damage was done.


Not to be outdone, Kris Koback, who helped author Arizona's draconian, Latino-hating and at least partly unconstitutional (according to the Supreme Court) Wo sind Ihre Papiere! (papers, please) law, told the same Senate Judiciary Committee that the background checks in the currrent CIR bill were not enough to stop a "terrorist from getting amnesty". (Of course, both of the Tsarnaev brothers were in the US legally, and the younger one is an American citizen. Neither would have needed "amnesty".)


Meanwile, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), one of the first people to draw a connection between the bombing and immigration reform, was furious when Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) condemned people who were trying to exploit Boston to defeat CIR. Senator Schumer did not mention Senator Grassley by name, but obviously the Iowa Republican knew who he was.


Joining the barrage of hate, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to ask why the two brothers had been allowed to emigrate from Chechnya, a "hotbed of Islamic extremism" in the first place.


The fact they came with their parents and that the younger brother was only 8 does not seem to have been a problem for the Tea Party Senator.


Perhaps more ominously for the chances for passage of CIR, the same Politico article also reports that Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, whom everyone agrees is a key player in the CIR effort, also disputed statements that the Boston bombing was not relevant to the immigration reform debate. However, he did not say anything about holding up consideration of the reform bill.


Fortunately, however, a counterweight to the demagogy from the Republican side has appeared in the form of none other than Congressman and former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI). Whatever one may think of his controversial budget proposals, he has sounded an important and badly needed note of sanity on immigration reform.


Appearing together with Democratic Congressman Luis Guttierez (Illinois) at a church in Chicago with a Latino congregation, where they were greeted by mariachi music, Ryan said (as reported by Politico: Paul Ryan steps into immigration fray, April 22):


"Our broken immigration system does not serve our national security interests. Our broken immigration system does not serve our economic security interests. And our broken immigration system does not serve our family interests. And so when Republicans and Democrats look at this situation and see something that's broken, we need to fix it."


Like Paul Revere, Paul Ryan is now riding out in support of the best interests of his country and all the people who live in it. Evidently, Ryan, who was part of the ticket that was blown away by Latino voters in the last election, has learned a lesson from it that some of his Republican colleagues have yet to absorb.


Ryan is a key figure among conservative House Republicans. His wisdom and realism may be a big help in passing reform in that Chamber and in selling it to fellow Republicans everywhere.







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