House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) broke with conservatives on Monday and argued that the Boston bombings should not slow down the legislative push for immigration reform. Appearing on Fox News, Boehner said that “if we fix our immigration system it may actually help us understand who all is here, why they’re here, and what legal status they have.”
That position puts Boehner at odds with Republicans like Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) who warned lawmakers on Sunday that the emotions of the Boston bombings would cloud good policy. “We saw some things post-9/11 that were enacted that if we had had a little bit more rational time to think this through, perhaps we wouldn’t have had some of the pushback on it,” Coats told ABC’s This Week. Conservatives in the House have also urged Congress to slow walk reform.
But advocates, including the GOP senators who are part of the so-called Gang of 8, have maintained that the plan would improve public safety by establishing an entry/exit visa, strengthening border security, and instituting a system of employment verification.