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In the News: Boston Bombings May Impact Immigration Debate

Joined: 4/23/2013
Posts: 1
In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, as the police searched for clues and suspects, those in the media debated the likelihood of the suspects being homegrown or foreign nationals. As everyone knows by now, the two suspects of Chechen origin, Tamerlan and DzhokharTsarnaev, immigrated to the United States with their families a decade ago. In 2010, the FBI, based on a tip from the Russian government, questioned Tamerlan about his possible radical religious beliefs and connections to terrorist organizations overseas, and yet he remained in the United States. Dzhokhar became a U.S. citizen in 2012.
In the weeks leading up to the bombing, the United States also debated a new immigration reform bill that would address the issue of how to deal with the estimated 20 million foreign nationals, most from Central and South America and law abiding, who entered the United States illegally. At the core of that debate was whether or not securing the border would be a priority in any bill that creates a path to citizenship for foreign nationals here illegally. A common argument in favor of placing a path to citizenship before any other consideration is that the United States has a history of welcoming immigrants from around the world no matter what their condition in life or economic status. Indeed, without immigration, the United States would not exist.
In light of the Boston bombing, however, I think we need to develop a realistic view of our place in the world and put the protection of our borders, as well as a sensible immigration policy, at the forefront of our political agenda. The world is a dangerous place and as much as we may love our country, recent history shows that many other people in the world don’t. The U.S. will cease to be a place of refuge for people from around the world if it is continually attacked from within. An immigration policy that scrutinizes more closely those who seek to live here doesn’t compromise America’s history as a beacon to the rest of the world; it only enhances it by keeping our country strong and safe. Developing a policy that discriminates among potential citizens not by race, religion, or national origin but by individual history, attitudes, capabilities, and commitment to America strengthens the fabric of our country. We must also secure our borders or those who seek to hurt citizens on our own soil will destroy both natural-born citizens and the naturalized citizens who have come here hoping for peace and freedom.
Modern American teen-agers should care about this issue because it can determine how we all live in the future. We should want to live in a country that finds a way to balance our proud history of acceptance and inclusion with acknowledgement of real-world dangers. Above all, we should care about our country being strong and safe for everyone who loves it.

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