How Boston Bomber's Citizenship Application May Affect Immigration Bill

One Boston bomber suspect's application for U.S. citizenship might play a role in the immigration discussion.

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Obama makes statement on April 19, 2013, about the Boston Marathon bombing. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty)

Tamerlan Tsarnaev applied for United States citizenship, but his application was delayed by Homeland Security because the FBI had investigated him, reports the New York Times.

The handling of Mr. Tsarnaev's application could be crucial for the Obama administration in the Senate debate that began this week over a bipartisan bill, which the president supports, for a sweeping immigration overhaul. Some Republicans skeptical of the bill have said they will watch the Boston bombings investigation to see if it reveals security lapses in the immigration system that should be closed before Congress proceeds to other parts of the bill, including a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

The record of the F.B.I. interview was enough to cause Homeland Security to hold up Mr. Tsarnaev's application. He presented those papers several weeks after he returned from a six-month trip overseas, primarily to Russia, and only six days after his brother, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, had his own citizenship application approved. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in custody and is in serious condition in a hospital.

Late last year, Homeland Security officials contacted the F.B.I. to learn more about its interview with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, federal law enforcement officials said. The F.B.I. reported its conclusion that he did not present a threat.

Read more at the New York Times.

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