Former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has come out strongly in favor of immigration reform and says the Boston bombings have convinced him even more the system is broken.

“We have a broken immigration system and, if anything, what we see in Boston is that we have to fix and modernize our immigration system for lots of reasons,” Ryan told reporters in Chicago where he appeared with Democratic  immigration advocate Congressman Luis Gutierrez

“National security reasons, economic security reasons. For all those reasons we need to fix our broken immigration system,” Ryan stated

Ryan outlined his five principles on immigration; a pathway to legalization, an expedited pathway for children, securing borders, enforcement of laws and allowing legal immigration.

Ryan said, “It’s high time we fix this broken system,. We all must acknowledge that we have an immigration system that’s broken. It is not serving our interest as a nation. Our broken immigration system does not serve our national security interests. Our broken immigration system does not serve our economic security interests. Our broken immigration system does not serve our family interests. And so, when Republicans and Democrats look at this situation and see something that’s broken, we need to fix it.”

Meanwhile back in Washington tempers flared during a Senate hearing over immigration reform on Monday when Senator Chuck Schumer of New York suggested the Boston bombings were being used as "an excuse" to slow down or stop the bill, which could put the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa suggested last week that the Boston bombs raised questions about the U.S. immigration system that should be examined in the context of the new bill, reports the Boston Herald.

During the first hearing last Friday, the Boston Marathon bombings cast a shadow over the proceedings. The attacks were carried out by two Chechen immigrant brothers who came here legally, one of whom was a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman used part of his opening statement to chastise those who would link the bombings to the legislation.

"Late last week opponents of comprehensive immigration reform began to exploit the Boston Marathon bombing," Leahy said at the second Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday.

"Let no one be so cruel as to try to use the heinous acts of these two young men last week to derail the dreams and futures of millions of hardworking people," Leahy said.

He added that the bill will strengthen national security by focusing on border security.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who was part of the ‘Gang of Eight’ who wrote the bill, issued a statement on the matter.

“I disagree with those who say that the terrorist attack in Boston has no bearing on the immigration debate. Any immigration reform we pursue should make our country safer and more secure. If there are flaws in our immigration system that were exposed by the attack in Boston, any immigration reform passed by Congress this year should address those flaws. Congress needs time to conduct more hearings and investigate how our immigration and national security systems could be improved going forward.

“The attack reinforces why immigration reform should be a lengthy, open and transparent process, so that we can ask and answer important questions surrounding every facet of the bill. But we still have a broken system that needs to be fixed.”

Republican Senator Rand Paul outlined his concerns about the proposed legislation in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday.

Telling him, "We should not proceed until we understand the specific failures of our immigration system."

House Speaker John Boehner also weighed in on the matter on Monday telling Fox News: "I'm in the camp of, if we fix our immigration system, it may actually help us understand who all is here, why they're here, and what legal status they have."

Paul Ryan proving to be an unlikely source of hope for DemocratsLarry Downing / Reuters