The Migration Issue in Nicaragua


Anna Lucia Arguello, Staff Writer

My grandparents immigrated to the United States when my parents were young. My dad has vague memories of living in Nicaragua, none of them good, and my mother doesn’t remember at all. I’ve always been aware of immigration in some sense. Still, most of what you hear about on the news is about Mexico or Cuba, populations that have already been settled in the United States. For as much as Nicaragua has been in the news, it’s always been government corruption or economic ruin. Now, it seems like the people have had enough. Much like my grandparents did long ago, people are leaving at an alarming rate in search of better lives. 

So, what changed? What finally pushed the country to its limits? The politics of the situation certainly didn’t help. Daniel Ortega has secured his power by whatever means necessary, discarding any pretense. He imprisons those who oppose him and never seems to leave office, no matter how much the people wish he would. He’s more of a dictator than a president. On top of this, the economy is getting poorer by the day, as is the public. Many are driven into debt by loans. Most are out of a job, unable to even begin paying them back. Properties are being seized and opportunities for change are seeming less and less likely. Worsening the situation is the United States’ involvement, barring trade to punish the communist regime they so oppose. Presently, it seems the only ones they’re punishing are the people forced to live with a president they didn’t elect and a country in ruins.  

Unsurprisingly, few who can afford to leave would pass up the opportunity. While most immigration to the United States is still coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, Nicaraguans are making their way over in droves. Given that the US immigration system is already heavily criticized and thought ineffective, any and all flaws will only be highlighted and worsened by an influx like this one. I’d like to say I know the answer, that there’s an easy solution we could implement if we just tried. I don’t think a solution like that exists here. Finding the balance between empathy and practicality can be difficult, and its legislators that have struggled with as long as we’ve had government. However, while this situation unfolds, it would do us well to consider the people it affects in real time. Every survey and percentage are a life, a person doing the best they possibly can.