In Emerson Ayala’s opinion piece last week (“Unfair System Denies Dream”), he tells of his own encounter with this nation’s flawed immigration system. He describes the rejection of his mother’s application for a U.S. Visa based on her financial situation. Unfortunately, the realities of the system prevented Ayala’s mother from obtaining the necessary documents to attend his graduation.
Undoubtedly there are many more situations similar to this that happen on a daily basis. Many hopeful tourists enter the U.S. Consular office full of expectation, looking forward to a trip to the United States to see friends or family. And inevitably, many of them leave feeling that all that matters to Uncle Sam is whether or not they are well-to-do.
While this may be the government’s stand (seeing foreign nationals as potential “burdens”), I think I speak for many of us when I say that we view hopeful visitors to this nation as welcome guests and fellow human beings. And I think I speak for most of here at JBU when I say that we would gladly welcome Ayala’s mother to join us at his graduation.
As I’m sure he knows, Emerson and his mother are much more than a financial background or investment portfolio to us. They are beloved members of the JBU community. And while the immigration system may not hold this same view, we do. I hope that in the midst of these sad circumstances, that he and his mother can gather some comfort from knowing that.