On 15 April, 2013, during the Boston Marathon, two homemade bombs exploded in the crowd of onlookers, killing three and injuring hundreds more. A massive, city-wide manhunt lead to the arrest of one of the terrorists, and the death of the other (another police officer was killed in the manhunt). They were two brothers from former Soviet Republics.
Five days later, the Boston Red Sox took to the field at Fenway Park to play the Kansas City Royals. The Red Sox organization and the people of Boston turned to David Ortiz, DH for the Red Sox and himself an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, to speak on behalf of the club. Ortiz took the microphone and said what was on the hearts and minds of every Bostonian:
This uniform. It doesn’t say “Red Sox.” It says “Boston.”…This is our fucking city! And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!
In its hour of need, the City of Boston turned to our hero to guide us. He was not one born in this city, or even this country, but he loved it nonetheless (Ortiz’s nickname is “Big Papi,” a term of endearment in his native DR). He gave Boston hope when it needed it the most. His loud, booming voice, amplified by the speakers at Fenway Park, echoed across the entire nation, representing all that is good about America and her immigrant population.
It is true that two immigrants, the Tsarnaev brothers, caused grief and harm. But it is also true that the immigrant Ortiz relieved that pain. For every Tsarnaev, there are many more Ortiz. For every criminal, there are many more good people.
The Ortiz of the world are why I am shamelessly and unapologetically open borders. The City of Boston would be a much darker place if not for people like Ortiz.