McCain: Following Boston Bombing, We Need To Amend Senate Immigration Bill

John McCain

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told an Arizona radio station on Thursday that lawmakers will need to amend the bipartisan immigration plan he co-authored in light of new details about the individuals allegedly involved in the Boston bombings. Though primary suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen, two of his three friends arrested on Wednesday for allegedly destroying evidence related to the bombing appear to have violated the terms of their student visas. The Tsarnaev family applied for political asylum in the United States in 2002.

“This bill, with improvements in light of the information we have, ought to move forward and amendments on the floor of the Senate and the House to tighten up all this, rather than to call a time out,” McCain said on KFYI in response to conservatives calling on the GOP to abandon the immigration reform effort. He argued that the Senate bill as a whole will only strengthen national security.

“The bill that we have spends billions of dollars on border security, has E-Verify which if someone wants to get a job now in America, after this is enacted they’re gonna have to have tamper proof documents,” the Arizona senator explained. “[W]e will be monitoring people existing this country as well as entering.”

During a separate appearance on Fox News on Wednesday, McCain suggested another change, banning or limiting immigrants from countries with “radical Islamic extremism”. “I think would be very appropriate to have hearings as we move forward with the immigration bill to try to fix what at least in this case appears to be a broken system,” he added.

A recent Pew Research Center Survey found that “only 36 percent of respondents said the Boston attack should be considered an ‘important factor’ in the debate over how to revamp U.S. immigration law, while 58 percent said it was ‘mostly a separate issue.'”