Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) claimed "student visas are not a right," which leaves room for "whatever restrictions" on student visas.
"I don't like profiling anybody, I don't like singling out anybody or generalizing anything,” Rubio said in an interview on Fox News Wednesday. “On the other hand, student visas are not a right. Student visas are something this country does out of generosity, student visas are something this country does because we figured out it's in our national interest, but you don't have a right to a student visa. And therefore, we can place whatever restrictions we want on student visas."
Rubio, who serves as a key member of the "gang of eight," a group of senators advocating for immigration reform, proposed that the Boston Marathon bombings revealed "flaws" in our immigration system. Rubio suggested that those flaws could be addressed with the immigration bill.
"If Boston exposes flaws in our system, immigration or otherwise, we should address that," Rubio said. "And we should address that in this bill if possible."
While speculating whether or not the bombings in Boston were executed by an immigrant, some Republicans have expressed that the incident could delay immigration reform.
"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," Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told National Review's Robert Costa. "If that's the case, then we need to take a look at the big picture."
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Sunday that the Boston bombings gave more reason for immigration reform to speed up.
"What happened in Boston and international terrorism I think should urge us to act quicker, not slower," Graham said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also vocalized that the bombings should not halt efforts for immigration reform.