Don’t Let Boston Derail the Discussions on Immigration


In the later half of the 20th Century, the Central American country of Nicaragua was undergoing a revolution. In 1983, two Nicaraguan immigrants came to the United States seeking asylum due to the Nicaraguan Revolution. Both of them were children of the Revolution and one of them was a soldier for the Sandinistas. This soldier, even though he had been indoctrinated by the Sandinistas ideals of socialism, he had to escape. These immigrants were barely 20 and were escaping this revolution.

This is the story of my parents. (The two youngsters in the featured photo!)

My mother and father were newly married because my father needed to flee Nicaragua. He was a soldier for the Sandinistas. After realizing that the ideals that the Sandinistas were preaching did not match reality, he wanted out. Fearing persecution due to his political opposition, he felt there was no way to live but to leave.

They came to the United States and were granted asylum. My parents were immigrants to this country and they’ve been here for 30 years. In those 30 years they moved to the Northern Virginia area, got jobs, ended up having three lovely children, built their own American dream, and never asked for government assistance. This story is not odd or rare, but simply ignored.

Recently, we all found out that the Boston Bombing suspects came here with their father and were granted asylum. Of course this has shifted the discussion of immigration. This has led to people blaming student visas and other aspects of our immigration policy. Yet, the suspects came here as minors and if they were given a strict background check, I doubt anything would have come up to predict this tragedy.

We can’t blame our immigration system for terror, especially the terror that happened in Boston. I’m not saying there aren’t things in our immigration policy that needs to be fixed, but we can’t allow this tragedy to run the discussion of immigration. Boston wasn’t the result of faulty immigration policy; it was the result of radicalization that happened in our borders, not outside of them.

Just like past tragedies, the Boston Bombings are being used to attack immigration reform. The consequence is that many worthy immigrants who are seeking a legal way to enter this country will lose that opportunity. They’ll lose the opportunity to make better lives for their families and for themselves.