It is only appropriate that one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union was an immigrant.
Felix Frankfurter immigrated from Vienna when he was 12 in 1894. He became active politically and worked to help found the ACLU. A close adviser to FDR, Frankfurter went on to become an Associate Justice in the United States Supreme Court in 1939. Frankfurter served for 23 years and advocated judicial restraint.
One of America’s most honored directors, Elia Kazan directed some of America’s most iconic movies.
If Kazan did not migrate from Poland with his parents in 1913, the world may have never been able to view cinematic classics like A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront.
The man who discovered major blood types and later did the research that would allow blood transfusions refined his work in America after making his initial discoveries in Austria-Hungary.
Karl Landsteiner immigrated with his family in 1923 to conduct research. He discovered three new blood groups in 1927. His discoveries helped doctors learn how to perform blood transfusions without risking the patient’s life.
Paul Ryan’s celebrity crush escaped communist Russia in 1926 to found the Philosophy of Objectivism and write countless books that your libertarian friend swears will change your life.
Ayn Rand advocated individual rights and libertarian economics in her philosophical texts and in her two major door stoppers The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
One of Miami’s biggest pop stars escaped Communist Cuba in 1959 when she was a toddler.
Estefan launched her music career with the help of her husband and producer Emilio. Estefan fronted the Miami Sound Machine and released countless latin pop hits.
You know your air conditioner? Thank Nikolai Tesla for it.
Nikolai Tesla, the inventor of the Tesla Coil, was born in what is now known as Croatia. Tesla left Europe for America at age 28 in 1884. Tesla worked with Thomas Edison and improved on his inventions until they went their separate ways. Later, Tesla developed the alternating-current electrical system. His invention is still used today to power AC machinery. Unfortunately, Tesla did not succeed in creating a global, wireless communication system. If only he could see the internet now.
This Northwestern alumni hails from Sweden.
Ann-Margaret came to the West Coast in 1959 with her singing group. That same year she enrolled in Northwestern as a speech major. This Wildcat went on to star in classic movies like Bye Bye Birdie and Carnal Knowledge. Ann-Margaret has won five Golden Globe Awards, has been nominated for two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and six Emmy Awards.
The first Asian-American woman to serve on a presidential cabinet was born in Taiwan.
Elaine Chao’s family fled communist China and Taiwan and they would later immigrate to the United State when Chao was eight in 1962. Chao served as Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush. Recently, Chao was appointed to be Trump’s Secretary of Transportation. Trump most likely fails to see the irony.
Did you think that accent was American?
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Austria to an abusive father. He escaped his harsh life when he was discovered by Joe Weider of the International Federation of Bodybuilding. Schwarzenegger became a famous bodybuilder and later actor known for his roles in The Terminator and Predator. In 2003, Schwarzenegger became governor of California. Currently he is the new host of the Celebrity Apprentice. It turned out that Trump was right about an immigrant taking his job.
The mind behind the Shyamalan twist was born in India.
Manoj “M. Night” Shyamalan’s family lived in America, but his mother spent the last six months of her pregnancy in her native India. Shyamalan became a sensation with the release of The Sixth Sense. Without immigration, audiences would never be have been able to see dead people. However, audiences would have been spared from The Last Airbender.
One of the founders of the influential rap group the Fugees hails from Haiti.
Wyclef Jean moved to Coney Island in 1978 when he was nine. In 1992, Jean created the Fugees with fellow rappers Lauryn Hill and Pras. Their 1996 album The Score is a classic that would never exist if Jean stayed in Haiti. Jean also uses his celebrity to give back to his native country and he even tried to run for president of Haiti in 2010.
The British comedian gained game in her native country as a performer and a musician before her husband motivated her to move to Los Angeles in 1985. Tracey Ullman started The Tracey Ullman Show. However, the most important part of Ullman’s legacy came when she featured cartoon sketches on her show from an unknown author called Matt Groening that served as the genesis for The Simpsons.
Without immigrants, America would be deprived of Lolcats and Pewdiepie.
Steve Chen was born in Taiwan and he immigrated to the US with his parents in 1993 when he was 15. Chen co-founded Youtube in 2005 and he serves as chief technology officer.
Do you ever wonder what your life would be like without Youtube or air conditioning? I imagine it would be pretty terrible. If Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven countries from entering the U.S. could end America’s fourth wave of immigration and deprive America of some of its brightest minds in the future. American immigration is described in waves. The third wave started in the 1880s when the U.S. federal government encouraged Europeans to migrate. The fourth wave started after 1965 when the federal government passed the Immigration and Nationality Act, which ended restrictive quotas and saw the rise in immigrants from Latin America. Immigrants have made many contributions to science, arts and politics. For example, without immigration we would never have been blessed with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s beautiful voice.