There has been a lot of talk of immigration lately. In both directions. Americans crashed the Canadian immigration website last week and there has been non-stop talk about keeping non US citizens out of the country for months. This topic is personal for me since I am married to an immigrant and my only sibling migrated out of the US several years ago. I have worked as a non-national in Japan, so I too have experienced what it is like to be a non-citizen living and working in a foreign country. Why is it that when the subject comes up people immediately think about undocumented laborers instead of the brilliant minds that crave the freedom and innovation that only the United States seems to be able to provide?
What is it that makes the US so unique that so many people want to come here to work? Time and again I ask that question of people I meet around the world and consistently they tell me that nowhere else in the world is there a better opportunity to create than in the US. Hmmm… really? Something that we take for granted here in the US is our constant innovation and creation. We are the most innovative country in the world and we are that way because of our diversity and drive. So where does that diversity and drive come from? Who brings in these fresh ideas and why try so hard to make them a reality?
If your family has lived in the US for more than three generations then your family has forgotten the hardships that drove them to the land of opportunity. The family historians who can tell you of the hardships, be they political or environmental, are gone and the stories weaken over time. The newer generations only know the life they live now in the US. But why should you care? What does that have to do with the US being the most innovative country in the world? Without the hardship and struggle we get soft, dare I say lazy? Not everyone, but enough of us. That is why having an open door to people who can appreciate and will fight for an opportunity is good for US. Those people remind us of how good we have it, and they drive us forward.
Americans love a little healthy competition, it is in our culture to compete and to win. We stand a better chance at being global winners with our doors open. People like Elon Musk founder of SpaceX, including Hyperloop, Tesla Motors, Co-founder of Solar-City, and many more companies immigrated to the US because we are the land of opportunity. People like Musk are why the US is the land of opportunity. It is one of the most powerful self-fulfilling prophecies this country has to offer and gain from. People see the ability to create new and innovative things as possible here, and when they come here to accomplish their goals we all win.