- - Monday, April 29, 2013

The Boston Marathon bombers hated America, but they loved the American dole. The suspects in the scheme to murder and maim innocent men, women and children were living off the generosity of the American taxpayers they hated.

The Boston Herald reports that the “brains” of the operation, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was on the Massachusetts dole with his wife, Katherine, and their 3-year-old daughter, Zahara. The parents of the Tsarnaev brothers received welfare and the accused brother, Dzhokhar, received benefits when he was a child.

Taxpayer generosity to the Tsarnaev family did not end there. The city of Cambridge awarded Dzhokhar a $2,500 scholarship toward his education at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. We don’t know the full extent of subsidy for Mr. Tsarnaev’s public education because the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act forbids disclosure. Taxpayers are even paying for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyer.

Congress turns now to immigration reform, and the Tsarnaev case raises important issues about the high price of certain public policies under consideration. Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Pat Roberts of Kansas, Republicans all, wrote to the “Gang of Eight,” authors of the immigration bill now in the Senate, asking for “concrete information about the long-term costs that will be imposed on taxpayers once millions of illegal immigrants become eligible not only for major entitlements, but for 80 different means-tested welfare and low-income assistance programs.”

Mr. Sessions observes that the Department of Homeland Security has been ignoring a 100-year-old law that requires that the government consider, before admitting an immigrant, the likelihood that he will become a “public charge,” who will eventually be permanently dependent on public welfare. Less than 1 percent of visa applications were denied on these grounds in 2011, despite a growing number of undocumented residents who live on food stamps and other welfare programs.

The Tsarnaev brothers were granted political asylum because they were Muslims from Chechnya. The State Department has ignored the hazard of importing Islamic radicals from this region. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been fighting Islamic extremism with ruthless efficiency, expressed his frustration with the attitude of Western liberals on Thursday. “I have always been annoyed when our Western partners and your colleagues from the Western media called our terrorists — who committed brutal, bloody, sickening crimes on the territory of our country — called them insurgents and almost never called them terrorists.”

The immigration debate gives Congress a chance to re-evaluate the wisdom of sacrificing Americans for political correctness by sending invitations to prospective citizens in parts of the world where nearly everybody hates America and all it stands for. This phenomenon illustrates the need for vigilance, to make sure immigrants will become productive, prosperous Americans.

Sadly, it seems the primary motivation of the president and his party on immigration reform is to create 11 million new Democratic voters with an amnesty, and hang the cost. Perhaps the Boston episode will encourage members of both parties to set aside politics for a moment and focus on a serious threat to the nation.

The Washington Times