A Republican senator suggested Friday that the immigration status of two suspects allegedly involved in this week's deadly bombings in Boston might force lawmakers to rethink months of negotiations over how to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.

Speaking at the start of the first Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that began as a manhunt continued in Boston, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) accused Democrats of "rushing" consideration of a bipartisan immigration bill unveiled this week and urged careful deliberations "given the events of this week."

"While we don’t yet know the immigration status of the people who have terrorized the communities in Massachusetts, when we find out, it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system," Grassley said. "How can individuals evade authorities and plan such attacks on our soil?  How can we beef up security checks on people who wish to enter the U.S.?  How do we ensure that people who wish to do us harm are not eligible for benefits under the immigration laws, including this new bill before us?"