Give Me Your Strong, Your English-Speaking, Your Individuals Yearning to Be Rich

August 7th, 2017

By Eric Frisch, 10x Management Writer and Michael Solomon, 10x Management Co-Founder

We all know the most famous quote on the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The famous words on the Statue of Liberty represent the best of America: anyone can come here, no matter where you’re from, no matter your background, no matter your education, as long as you have the work ethic to succeed, you’ll do just fine. The United States for over two centuries has been a beacon of hope throughout the world, representing a land of opportunity that people can only dream about in some parts of the world.

Donald Trump, with the newly proposed RAISE Act, has decided to rewrite Lady Liberty’s welcoming words to something more appropriate for his mindset: Give me your strong, your English-speaking, your individuals yearning to be rich. If you speak English, are well-educated, and will contribute to America’s economy immediately, Trump’s America welcomes you with open arms.

Trump has continually justified his policies by claiming they protect American workers and create more opportunity for people in America. And yet, this country was founded on the principle of welcoming all. A story in Wired puts it best:

40 percent of Fortune 500 businesses were started by immigrants and their children, “many of whom did not speak English or came here as refugees,” says AOL cofounder Steve Case. “For more than two centuries, we were viewed as a nation of opportunity for all, and I believe that this act not only fails to recognize the economic and social benefits of immigrants but could repel the very talent we want to attract.”  

The RAISE Act would establish a point system to rate immigrants based on “predictors of immigrant success.” Among other prerequisites, the RAISE Act proposes an English language proficiency requirement to enter the United States, prioritizes high-skilled workers, and would force many refugees to separate from their families if they are admitted into the United States. These policies will only serve to alienate potential immigrants and send them elsewhere.

We’ve already discussed how the Trump administration’s crackdown on H1B Visas will in the long-run hurt American innovation, and the proposed RAISE Act adds another level to Trump’s detrimental ideas about immigration. While we know that the United States cannot possibly welcome everyone into its shores, Trump’s rhetoric, proposals, and actions take things too far.

The New York Times recently ran an article stating that countries like Canada, Mexico, and China are all working hard to attract and welcome immigrants and entrepreneurs from around the world. In the end, the rest of the world will benefit from America’s new close-minded attitude towards immigrants. It is as short-sighted an ideology as possible.

If you like this article, you might enjoy reading ‘America First’ Helps Other Countries Attract Tech Talent