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Paul Ryan: Boston Bombings Shouldn't Delay Immigration Reform

Former Veep candidate says it's a matter of "national security"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Former Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan joined Rep. Luis Gutierrez on Monday to speak about immigration reform. It's an unlikely coalition, but Ryan said the attack in Boston should not derail reform. Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Monday, Apr 22, 2013)

    Former Vice Presidential candidate and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on Monday urged his colleagues in Congress to not let last week's attack in Boston derail their efforts for comprehensive immigration reform.

    "I would say for the sake of our national security we want to modernize our immigration laws," Ryan said prior to a speech on the topic with Rep. Luis Gutierrez at at the City Club of Chicago.

    "We do not know how to even track people who overstay their visas. ...  We need a modern immigration system that helps us not only protect our border but protects national security and all of its aspects," he said. "If anything I would say this is an argument for modernizing our immigration laws."

    Since the November election, key Republicans at the state and national levels have called for immigration reform. But Sen. Rand Paul earlier in the day urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to address national security vulnerabilities exposed by the Boston Marathon before moving forward with comprehensive immigration reform legislation, The Hill reported.

    The two suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, are naturalized citizens of Chechen descent. Tamerlan Tsaernav was killed last week in an exchange of gunfire with police. Dzhokar Tsarnaev remains hospitalized in Boston. He was charged Monday with conspiring to use a "weapon of mass destruction."

    Ryan and Gutierrez said they disagreed with Paul's assertion.

    "If anything, that tells us we need to work on it even more," said Gutierrez.