Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No more second chances in immigration?

Sandra Sanchez has a touching post at Thoughts on Liberty about her parents' immigration from Nicaragua to the United States in 1983; a plea to not let the Boston Marathon bombing turn Americans against immigration because of the terrible acts of two young immigrants. She writes:
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.


Anonymous said...

The United Sates and Canada are both countries that are made up of immigrants and have been built by immigrants. Every single person in North America are either immigrants or the descendents of immigrants. Despite the acts of two bad people we must never forget that the very foundation that makes America and Canada the greatest nations on Earth is our diversity and tolerance. Immigration is the holy grail that will ensure peace and safety in our society. If we want to live in harmony and have world peace, we must show the world that our doorsteps are the entrance to our hearts.

It is very sad that the Boston tragedy was alleged to have been perpetuated by what the right winged media are calling immigrants and Muslim, but we must also remember that one is innocent until proven guilty. We must also remember how the human rights and civil liberty violations that the alleged bomber has endured only further fuels that anti western hatred that others around the world have towards us. The torture and killing of Muslim children around the world, in the name democracy, only feeds the fires that ignite wars and ignite acts of so called terrorism.

Gerald said...

Jeremy,you're a blind idiot.From a brave Canadian.