Room for the best, the brightest and the hardest-working: Our view
Amid all the debate over illegal immigration, we shouldn't lose focus on the great contributions that legal immigrants make to our communities and businesses each day.
One recent example is Dani Fessler, an immigrant from Israel who was tapped to be the new director of the York Jewish Community Center. He is working in Central Pennsylvania under the aegis of the so-called “Einstein Visa.” Technically known as the EB-1 Visa, the document clears a path into the United States for people who excel in their fields.
While we understand there are concerns about immigrants taking jobs that could go to Americans, the country has a long history of opening its doors to people willing to out-hustle the competition. It is a history that has made this country great and made its corporations household names around the world.
So it is important that we have visas for those with special talents. The Einstein visa is a prime example, but there are others, including the H-1B visa for those in specialized fields where demand for workers in the United States outweighs by supply. The H-1B has been a vital pipeline for the technology and health care industries
But we also need to ensure there are enough visas for people who are willing to work hard and create a foundation for their family’s future, regardless of their current skills.
In the 19th century, those strivers came from places like Germany and Ireland. In the early 20th century, they came from places like Italy and Poland. In the later 20th century, they came from Vietnam and Korea. Today, they may be coming from places like Haiti and Syria, Nigeria and Sudan, Mexico and Venezuela.
We want immigrants to follow the rules, and we want to ensure we bar terrorists and other threats to our security, but we need a system that ensures the U.S. continues to draw the best, the brightest and the hardest-working.
Businesses are counting on sensible immigration reform. But it is almost impossible to keep up with the changing debate in Washington, D.C. It seems there is more interest in talk than action.
It is a frustrating dynamic, especially knowing we can find immigration success stories in our own backyard.