There’s still a lot we don’t know, but it’s being widely reported that
the two suspects in the Boston bombing — one of whom has been killed by
police — are brothers of Chechen origin. According to law enforcement sources, the brothers entered the U.S. in 2002 or 2003, and at least one of them has been a legal permanent resident since 2007.
Some on the right are already pouncing on the news to cast doubt on
the desirability of immigration reform. This morning, Ann Coulter Tweeted:
It’s too bad Suspect # 1 won’t be able to be legalized by Marco Rubio, now.
Bryan J. Fisher is a conservative radio host who rails
about the “amnesty” that Senator Marco Rubio — one of the Gang of Eight
Senators – supposedly supports in the form of immigration
reform. Fischer Tweeted the following in response to today’s news out of Boston:
I think we can safely say that Rubio’s amnesty plan is DOA. And should be. Time to tighten, not loosen, immigration policy.
Meanwhile, over at the Washington Examiner, Conn Carroll, a Rubio critic and immigration reform skeptic, wrote
that we still don’t know a good deal about the two brothers, adding
that today’s planned Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the new
immigration reform proposal should be delayed. “Today is not the day for
an immigration hearing,” Carroll concluded.
Rubio’s office tells Sargent, “The situation in Boston is still
developing and it’s too soon to jump to conclusions, let alone use the
tragedy to make political points.”
The parallels to the gun debate are hard to ignore here. After the
Newtown massacre, the right accused gun safety advocates of
“politicizing” a tragedy to advance their agenda. Apparently, this is a
luxury only allowed conservative deepthinkers like Ann Coulter and Bryan
Also, if we follow the gun lobby reasoning, laws regulating
immigration are completely pointless, stupid, and wrong because people
will just break them. As with laws banning certain types of firearms and
magazines, it’s important that you only pass laws that are impossible
to break — perhaps by somehow tying immigration to the speed of light or
some other immutable law of physics.
And if it turns out that both brothers are legal residents, how does
this say a thing about immigration reform, which focuses on the problem
of undocumented people?
As always, conservative talking points are completely at odds with
other conservative talking points, because they live in a world of
cognitive dissonance and perpetual logical inconsistency. I can’t
imagine what it must be like to live with this sort of stuff going on in
your head, but it has to be very disorienting.