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April 30th, 2013
05:29 PM ET

Chaffetz: Boston attack shows need to revisit immigration policy

U.S. officials are investigating whether the Boston Marathon bombing suspects acted alone, a scenario some in Congress say is highly unlikely.

"It stretches the imagination to think that these two kids went online, watched a couple videos, and then put together some very sophisticated bombs," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

"That leads us to believe that there were others involved, that somehow these two kids went awry, and they got trained, they got information, they were radicalized, and that's what the officials are diving deep into now," said Chaffetz.

Chaffetz argued that the Boston terrorist attacks are an example of why the U.S. needs a better immigration system, even though the gaps in this case appear to be more strongly rooted in intelligence issues.

"I think it really has to go back to Homeland Security," says Chaffetz. One of the things that needs to be closely examined, he said, is asylum.

"You have some people who come here, they claim asylum because they worry they're going to be persecuted," said Chaffetz. "They're taking welfare and other types of public assistance because they can't afford anything, yet they're able to get airline tickets to go back to that region."

Chaffetz said Congress needs a time line and more details on how the Tsarnaevs came to the U.S., and then how the family could travel back to an area where they said they would be killed or persecuted if they returned.

"That doesn't quite add up," said Chaffetz.

The Utah Republican has also been closely involved in the Benghazi investigation. There are reports that whistleblowers in the State Department are being prevented from testifying on Benghazi, though the president said Tuesday that he was not aware of the reports.

"We think that we've done an independent investigation, that it's been transparent, thorough, credible, and detailed, and that we've shared those findings with the U.S. Congress," acting Deputy Spokesman for the State Department Patrick Ventrell said Monday. "And that should be enough."

Chaffetz says he knows of whistleblowers that are not being allowed to speak to House investigators.

"These whistleblowers are unable to necessarily get the legal representation they need, because these people need a certain degree of security clearance," said Chaffetz.

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