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CNN "CNN Newsroom" - Transcript - Immigration and the Boston Marathon Bombing

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WHITFIELD: So, Congressman Hudson, you first. Is he right? Does immigration play a role in preventing another potential Boston type bombing?

REP. RICHARD HUDSON (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Absolutely. That is a big part of it. Especially when you look at one of the three friends of DzhokharTsarnaev who was arrested. We are finding now, at least there are news reports he overstayed a tourist visa. So that is a prime example where we need to do a better job of tracking the people who are here in this country who may overstay visas. Because frankly, when you look at the illegal population in this country, over 40 percent are here because they overstayed a visa.

WHITFIELD: So, Congressman Richmond, how do you see it?

REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D), LOUISIANA: Well, I think we do have a problem with people overstaying their visa, but when you talk about self-radicalization in this incident, I don't think immigration reform is necessarily the key to curing it. We have a number of issues in the country in terms of people and self-radicalization and the views that they hold.

So, I would not hold immigration reform out to the public as being a cure-all for instances like this because I still think that we live in a dangerous society. We can't cut homeland security. And the sequester plays a part in it also. I think it's a little bit more comprehensive than Senator Durbin makes it appear. So, no I don't agree with that.

WHITFIELD: So, Congressman Richmond, what questions will you have this week when we all hear reportedly that Russian officials asked the FBI to investigate the older brother. They did, but then the investigating didn't continue upon Tamerlan Tsarnaev's return from Chechnya. What kind of questions do you want to pose this week?

RICHMOND: Well, the questions I want to pose this week are those you just raised, which is why wasn't he continued to be investigated? What did they look into? What did they find? Why did they stop? And all those things.

The problem I think we'll have is we won't have the proper officials there to respond because it's still an ongoing investigation. The FBI, the CIA and everybody will probably not want to comment on it.

So, part of it -- and we in Congress, have to do is, we probably need to let them take the investigation and let it run its course. But we do have a role as oversight to make sure that these type of things don't happen. There was a -- we let the American people down this time. And we need to figure out why and we need to make sure it doesn't happen again.

WHITFIELD: So, Congressman Hudson, who is invited to answer some of these questions if, just as the congressman just mentioned, the investigation is ongoing? So, perhaps CIA and FBI officials would not necessarily be available for this type of hearing, this kind of Q&A at this juncture? Who is going to be there?

HUDSON: We've got representatives from those agencies who will be testifying. I don't have the witness list in front of me. But I think it is important we begin looking into this. We have an important role of oversight. There are a lot of questions that need to be asked, including did these brothers act alone? What were the circumstances that led Tamerlan to be radicalized? We need to look at the information sharing that goes on between the agencies. There may be changes that we need to make in the law that when you look at how information shared among agencies.

And frankly, the biggest piece is we need to look at what information is shared with local and state law enforcement. And are we doing a good enough job from a Homeland Security standpoint of sharing information?

WHITFIELD: Weren't they some of the same questions that came out of the 9/11 Commission? I mean, do you feel satisfied that the resolutions, what was learned from that commission and those studies was put into place or simply ignored? Which left gaping holes for something like this to happen?

HUDSON: I think we learned a lot of lessons from 9/11. I think one of the biggest lessons was you have these big bureaucracies that stovepipe their information and don't do a good job in sharing. I think we've made very good improvements. But in the case of Homeland Security, we've created a monster-sized agency and tasked them with coordinating. And there's still a lot of work to be done. When you talk about issues like the immigration entry and exit information, you also look at the counterterrorism center and what kind of information they're looking at. Is that information being shared? Is there a nexus that needs to be there that isn't there? Those are the questions we ought to be asking to see what kind of lessons we can learn to improve and continue to get better.

WHITFIELD: All right. Congressman Hudson, Congressman Richmond, thanks so much for both of your time. And later on today, we'll actually be talking to two of the original members of that 9/11 commission to get their take on what they think may have potentially gone wrong and what was resolved post 9/11. all right, thanks so much, gentlemen. Appreciate that.

All right. He came back from the back of the pack to win at the Kentucky Derby. Find out why this win was extra special for the people of Kentucky.


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