Steve King: Boston attacks should slow down immigration reform

"We need to take a look at the big picture," he said

Published April 16, 2013 5:29PM (EDT)

Rep. Steve King (Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore)
Rep. Steve King (Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore)

Rolling with the New York Post's thin report that police had questioned a Saudi national over the explosions in Boston, Rep. Steve King argued that the U.S. should seriously consider slowing down immigration reform in light of the attacks.

“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, R-Iowa, told the National Review's Robert Costa. “If that’s the case, then we need to take a look at the big picture.”

“We need to be ever vigilant,” King continued. “We need to go far deeper into our border crossings. . . .We need to take a look at the visa-waiver program and wonder what we’re doing. 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.”

Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham made a similar point on her radio show on Tuesday. "I mean, again, we don't know who did this, motivations, all of that," she said. "But it is interesting that at this moment...we are considering legalizing or giving regularized status to millions of people. Pretty much none of them have gone through any rigorous background checks, to have a temporary status in the United States."

Ingraham added: "I just think that there are all sorts of security implications aside from the other arguments on immigration -- national security implications that we don't talk about with enough frankness and I think certitude here."

Here's the audio, via MediaMatters:

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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