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Local Officials Question Strength Of Current Immigration Laws Following Boston Bombings

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By Syma Chowdhry

DELAWARE(CBS) — Delaware Senator Chris Coons has always been outspoken when it comes to immigration reform.

“Those who are here who would do us harm, to make possible for law enforcement to focus on them, find them and deport them,” Coons said.

The Boston Marathon bombing suspects were in this country legally — the surviving brother is a naturalized citizen. But Coons says it is time to make some changes.

“I think we should redouble our efforts to make sure we understand what’s the path forward on immigration, how do we use this opportunity to make America safer.”

Back in 2011, the FBI investigated Tamerlan Tsarnaev — who was killed in a police shootout last week — after red flags were thrown by the Russian government. The Russians suspected Tsarneav had ties to Islamic extremists in Chechnya.

But no link was found.

“Exactly what did or did not happen in terms of communications and cooperation between the Russian and American intelligence services, FBI, Homeland Security,” Coons said.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper is on the Homeland Security Committee and says now is the time to learn how officials could have done things differently.

“The key is not to just point blame, to assign blame to the FBI or someone who maybe could have done their jobs better, but how do we learn from that?” Carper said.

Senator Coons says the attacks shouldn’t mean we should shut down immigration, but rather embrace it, with better filters.

“To disrespect and deny the fact that immigrants have really helped build America and continue to contribute to building America’s future, is to deny facts and history.”

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