Come ON

04.22.13

Why Boston Tells Us Little About Our Immigration System

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Sorry, Sen. Rand Paul, but this is nonsensical:

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Paul bluntly warned, "We should not proceed until we understand the specific failures of our immigration system. Why did the current system allow two individuals to immigrate to the United States from the Chechen Republic in Russia, an area known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism, who then committed acts of terrorism? Were there any safeguards? Could this have been prevented? Does the immigration reform before us address this?"

Two individuals didn't immigrate to the United States from the Chechen Republican in Russia. A family that included two sons immigrated. This, from CNN, is more accurate:

2002: Parents Anzor Tsarnaev and Zubeidat Tsarnaeva immigrate to the United States with their son, Dzhokhar. Their three other children -- Tamerlan Tsarnaev and two sisters -- stay behind in Kazakhstan with an uncle, his aunt told reporters in Canada this week.

July 2003: Tsarnaev, then 16, is in Turkey in July 2003 for 10 days on a Kyrgyz passport, a senior Turkish official says.

He comes to the United States that month, along with his two sisters, his aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva, told the Toronto Sun.

July 19, 2003: Tamerlan Tsarnaev first enters the United States through New York's JFK International Airport, a federal official says.

We know the FBI already had the older brother in their sights. Their failure to properly track and follow-up will require plenty of attention in months to come, but for the purposes of immigration, this isn't about individuals coming to America.

It's that a family moved from a war-torn region to the United States. Two of the sons would go on to become terrorists. But what's the method for prevention? Banning all boys and men from such regions from moving to America? Remember, the younger brother was born in 1993. He was less than ten years old when he arrived in America.

That's the awkward part for those who'll invoke Boston in the name of (or against) immigration reform. As such, probably best not to bother, right?