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.The final sentiment (emphasis mine) is beautifully put and more true than it ought to be. People notice the immigrants who reinforce their beliefs, whatever those may be, while immigrants who don't get filed in with "everyone else." A more complete picture of immigration could help Americans to make less emotionally charged decisions about policy.
But there's something more telling in their story: When her father became disillusioned with the Sandinistas, a brutal political movement in Nicaragua, he was able to leave them by coming to the United States to start again, and, as his story shows, he was successful in many ways.
It breaks my heart that I'm almost certain no such second chance exists today for people from the Middle East who have been caught up with Al-Qaeda or similar groups but want to start a new life in the West. Immigration policy is in danger of negative changes as a result of the Boston bombing in part because the idea of immigration as a second chance has been eroded by the American security state. It's not a new phenomena, but it's becoming more pronounced. One way to push back is to make sure that stories like the Sanchez family's are not ignored.