BACKBONE OF AMERICA
Paying Tribute to Immigrants Who Make Our Country Great
Jun 09, 2017
Story and Page Design by Jonathan Powell
June is Immigrant Heritage Month – a time to remember our far-flung roots. Many of us can trace our family origins to ancestors who have come from all over the world to begin new lives for themselves and make America what it is today.
To a remarkable degree, immigrants have shaped our country’s destiny through their contributions to economic growth, scientific discoveries, technological innovation and other fields of endeavor that enrich our society.
Research has shown that immigrants start new companies or become self-employed at nearly twice the rate of native-born Americans.
Furthermore, despite making up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, immigrant entrepreneurs launched 28.5 percent of the new businesses in 2014 — up from 25.9 percent a year earlier.
A new report from the Partnership for a New American Economy found more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Eighteen percent (or 90) of the companies had immigrant founders. The children of immigrants started another 114 companies.
“Many of America’s greatest brands – Apple, Google, AT&T, Budweiser, Colgate, eBay, General Electric, IBM, and McDonalds to name just a few – owe their origin to a founder who was an immigrant or the child of an immigrant,” the report noted.
And that’s not “Fake News!”
Sadly, our country currently is divided over the issue of immigration from certain countries and providing refugees with opportunities to establish new live for themselves and their families in our communities.
We often hear the news media reporting that immigrants are coming to America and taking our jobs and putting hard-working native-born men and women out of work. We are also told that these individuals work for much lower wages, giving them a leg up to get through the door.
Newsflash …When a job is advertised, it is open to anyone qualified to do that job; nobody has any natural born right to a job simply because they are native to the county in which the job is advertised.
Let’s rejoice as families keep striving to move forward every day as they come from Mexico, South Africa, Israel, Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, China, the United Kingdom and other countries to become legal American citizens.
The next time you encounter immigrants, don’t judge them because of the job they have, the way they talk, or the clothes they wear. Be careful as some of the richest immigrants still drive their old cars and buy their clothes from K-Mart and only when they are on sale.
Immigrants always have represented the fiber and the essence of America. Somewhere along the line, however, we forgot that this nation was built to a great degree on the blood, tears and backs of immigrants.
The Statue of Liberty is perhaps the world’s best-known beacon of hope for those fleeing war, famine, poverty, political or religious persecution. The poignant words of poet Emma Lazarus, inscribed on a plaque mounted inside the pedestal of the statue, are a fitting reminder of why we celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
To hear the compelling voices of immigrants and descendants of immigrants, please click here: https://youtu.be/-ISpHjUFhg0?list=PLEyQbHjqvrapWCikAdkMXwrvODnzQP6-9.