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posted: 5/10/2013 5:00 AM

Ability to assimilate key for immigrants

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I applaud Froma Harrop's April 25 column, "Boston bombs and the ability to assimilate." She is totally correct in her observation of immigrants who come to the U.S. for a better life, but are unable to assimilate. Froma lays out the problems that the Tsarnaev family had here, which ultimately led to the mother and father going back to Dagestan and leaving their two sons behind to eventually detonate bombs killing and maiming many during the Boston Marathon.

One uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, spoke of their shortcomings and called the brothers losers. Another uncle, Alvi Tsarni, said that the brothers brought shame to the family. Three men from the same family (Tsarni is a shortened version of Tsarnaev) immigrated to the U.S. Two were able to assimilate and are happy here, one failed to assimilate, returned to Dagestan leaving behind two bitter sons.

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Whether you agree or not, I believe Froma Harrop's observations can be applied to every single immigrant in the U.S. I should know, being the child and grandchild of immigrants. My father, two aunts and both sets of grandparents came to here from Germany and Hungary after World War I for a better life. Both sides of my family experienced good times and also dealt with the Great Depression by finding work any way they could. They learned the English language, became American citizens and my father flew the American flag every patriotic holiday (Memorial, Independence and Labor Days) until he passed away at 71.

As a U.S. citizen, I welcome all immigrants to our country. Your contributions are valuable and welcome. Keep your native language and tradition, because that's your wonderful heritage; however, learn the English language, assimilate into the community and cherish the opportunity to live in this great country.

Linda Plegge

Palatine

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