Most Americans say Boston attack not an immigration issue: poll

WASHINGTON Wed May 1, 2013 4:39pm EDT

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L), 26, is pictured in 2010 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is pictured in an undated FBI handout photo in this combination photo. REUTERS/The Sun of Lowell, MA/FBI/Handout

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L), 26, is pictured in 2010 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is pictured in an undated FBI handout photo in this combination photo.

Credit: Reuters/The Sun of Lowell, MA/FBI/Handout

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Most Americans do not see the Boston Marathon bombing and its suspects as an immigration issue, according to a poll released on Wednesday that also found the U.S. public still relatively inattentive to the debate on revising immigration laws.

While discussion of the immigration bill is still in its early stages, the blasts last month have been mentioned by some Republicans as a reason to go slow on the legislation.

U.S. law enforcement officials have named two ethnic Chechen brothers as perpetrators of the April 15 attack.

One, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police three days after the bombing. The other, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been charged and is being held in custody. Officials have said both brothers came to the United States legally a decade ago, and that Dzhokhar is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

According to the Pew Research Center survey, only 36 percent of respondents said the Boston attack should be considered an "important factor" in the debate over how to revamp U.S. immigration law, while 58 percent said it was "mostly a separate issue."

Also, 57 percent of those polled said immigration changes would "not make much difference" when it comes to preventing similar attacks in the future, while the rest were split.

The Pew researchers noted that "the debate over immigration policy has drawn little public attention."

Just 19 percent of respondents said they were closely following the debate over the comprehensive immigration bill, Pew said. And most of those polled did not know about some of the legislation's key aspects, it added.

Overall, respondents were divided over the Senate immigration proposal, with 33 percent in favor and 28 percent against it, according to the telephone survey of 1,003 adults across the United States conducted from April 25 to April 28. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent.

The bipartisan bill being pushed by a bipartisan group of eight senators aims to bolster border security, help provide workers and create an earned pathway to U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

A Senate committee is expected to take up the bill next week.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Fred Barbash and David Brunnstrom)

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Comments (5)
gregbrew56 wrote:
The only people in the U.S. that are NOT “immigrants” are Native Americans. (At least, for the last 10,000 years or so.) Let us not lose sight of this fact.

May 01, 2013 4:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
I think this case graphically illustrates the down side of lax, and lackadaisical requirements for immigration and, particularly, “Political Asylum”. Neither should be passed out like lollypops! Napolitano said these people were vetted and then vetted and then vetted again . . . But the questioning of the now dead bomber by the CIA doesn’t even show up in the DHS files????????? What the heck??

Only the MOST qualified applicants should be considered. If you have to add a welfare ID card when you give them their Green card, you are bringing in the wrong folks. We have too many of them here already!

May 01, 2013 4:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flower1 wrote:
gregbrew56, is it very difficult to understand the difference between legal immigrants and illegal? Is it hard to understand that a lot of legal immigrants come for generous social system? It is not 1700th when people would come and die like flies from hard work and hunger. It is a new type of immigration that does not exist anywhere even in liberal Europe and Canada.
Many countries of the world have shifted populations and claim of land and nobody is so dumb (minus a few) who thinks that it is relevant. White America build this countries for what it is, the old European tradition and skills therefore they are not immigrants here, ok?

May 01, 2013 5:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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