Grassley: Immigration reform 'falls far short' on national security

Grassley said that during the Senate Judiciary Committee markup of the bill he tried to add several amendments that would have increased national security but that all were defeated. 

He specifically mentioned the fact that the immigration bill does not correct lessons learned from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack where some of the bombers had visas. Grassley said that if they had been forced to have an in-person meeting before their visas were granted the attackers could have been barred from coming into the United States.

Grassley also mentioned that improvement to the asylum system haven’t been reported after the Boston Bombing attack, where two brothers who sought asylum are believed to have taken advantage of the system by not truly in danger in their home country when they came to the United States.

“We need to understand and we need to address these failures before proceeding with some of the provisions in this bill,” Grassley said. “It is not good stewardship of the trust of the American people. … Our nation’s security is at risk and we cannot ignore it. We need to know what is wrong with the system to prevent things like the Boston Bombing from happening again.”

Grassley has been outspoken critic of the bipartisan immigration reform bill, which will create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.

Grassley claims the bill repeats the mistakes of the last major immigration reform in 1986 by granting “legalization before border security.”

The bill is expected to pass in the Senate with support from more than 10 Republicans, but the Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said the House will not take up the Senate’s bill.

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