Since the country’s founding, immigration has been one of the most divisive issues we have faced as a nation. This is ironic indeed since – with the exception of Native and African Americans – nearly every American who is alive today is the descendant of immigrants in one form or another. And since the current administration seems to be woefully ignorant of this fact, I would like to list some iconic Americans who were themselves immigrants. It is my intent to continue acknowledging these men and women who have made the development of this great nation possible.
- Albert Einstein, Germany: This Nobel Prize–winning theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity is not only an example of the contributions that immigrants have made to the country and indeed the world, his story is also an example of the dangerous effects of what prejudice can lead to. As a German Jew, Einstein fled Nazi regime just years before the Holocaust began.
- Levi Strauss, Germany: Unlike Albert Einstein, Levi Strauss is perhaps more famous for his first name than for his last. Yes, Strauss famously founded the company Levis and to this day there is hardly a wardrobe in America that does not contain a pair of his ubiquitous jeans.
- Patrick Ewing, Jamaica: Ewing moved to the U.S. from Jamaica at the age of 13 and learned to play basketball in high school. He was named outstanding player in 1984 when Georgetown won the NCAA and was a member of the U.S. Olympic team that won in 1984. Since then he has gone on to be named one of the top 50 players in the history of the NBA.
- Bob Hope, England: Yes, arguably the most legendary American comedian of all time -Leslie Townes Hope – was actually born Eltham, County of London in 1903. Hope and his family emigrated from England when he was 17 years of age. For nearly a century, Hope had a distinguished career in radio, television, on Broadway and in movies.
- Oscar de la Renta, Dominican Republic: This world famous fashion designer has dressed notables such as Jackie Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Penelope Cruz and Taylor Swift to name just a few.
- Rita Moreno: This EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) winner was born in Puerto Rico. She immigrated to the mainland with her seamstress mother as a child and has gone on to win just about every entertainment award that can be earned.
It is somewhat frightening to think of how much our culture would be diminished without the contribution of the above individuals and many others whose talents helped to shape this nation. As an immigration lawyer from Ventura County, I recognize the contributions that all people can make to this country regardless of where they were born. I am immigration lawyer Erika Roman and I will speak to you about your case for free.