The Boston Marathon bombings show that immigration reform could endanger the public, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Tuesday, speculating that the attack might have been perpetrated by an immigrant. In fact, law enforcement authorities have not named any suspect so far.
"Some of the speculation that has come out is that, yes, it was a foreign national and, speculating here, that it was potentially a person on a student visa," King said to the National Review's Robert Costa. "If that's the case, then we need to take a look at the big picture."
King, who has previously vowed to block a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, said the Boston bombings should slow movement on immigration reform
As he noted, there's only speculation about who perpetrated the attack at this point. Although some media reports on Monday said a Saudi national was being questioned, law enforcement and the White House have said there is currently no suspect.
Still, King implied that foreign nationals were behind the bombings.
"If we can’t background-check people that are coming from Saudi Arabia, how do we think we are going to background-check the 11 to 20 million people that are here from who knows where?" he said.
Read the full National Review Online story here.
King has a long history of controversial statements on immigrants and is one of the most outspoken House opponents of immigration reform. He offered his latest comments on the same day that the Senate's bipartisan "gang of eight" unveiled an immigration reform bill that would allow some undocumented immigrants to become citizens after an arduous process and numerous border security improvements.