Everyone is certainly relieved that at least part of the most dangerous aspect of the Boston Marathon investigation has come to a close with the killing and capture of the two suspects in the bombing. We thank the men and women law enforcement and firefighters who helped bring this dangerous situtation to a close. During the investigation, it was revealed that the suspects were brothers who had legally immigrated to the United States over ten years ago and who had eventually gained permanent legal status here.
Because these suspects were not born in the United States and thus became part of the “melting pot” of our Nation, there will be many anti-immigration politicians and commentators who will come out against comprehensive immigration reform and point to the Boston Marathon bombings as a reason to table or defeat any immigration reform legislation. Although misguided, they will rally public opinion citing the simple connection of “immigrant = danger”.
There are three main points as to why this logic fails. First, these suspects legally immigrated to the United States under an immigration system that accepts people who fear persecution in their home country. This is the United States at its best, protecting the freedom of the oppressed. This is why we grant refugees political asylum. Political Asylum law is not part of the proposed new legislation for comprehensive immigration reform. The immigration aspect of these suspects’ scenario was complete long before they fell into an obvious shift in personality, mental health, and into religious radicalism.
Second, immigration reform will enhance security. Border protection is a major part of the proposed legislation. Additionally, the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants will step forward and register in order to obtain benefits and we will no longer have millions of people living unaccounted for and in the shadows.
Third, it has been reported that a foreign nation warned the FBI about the older suspect and that he was a danger to the United States. Apparently, reports are that the FBI interviewed the older suspect and were aware of his potential danger. There was a break down somewhere here that has nothing to do with immigration and how the suspects legally immigrated to the United States.
If anything, the Boston Marathon bombings make a case FOR comprehensive immigration reform, NOT against it. Let’s hope the majority of Americans can see through the rhetoric that is most certainly headed our way.