Yep, Lets Admit the Best and Brightest, ESPECIALLY From Shithole countries.


Trump, leaving his racism, bigotry and illiteracy aside, may be right on one thing .. we should encourage immigration  from the top, the best, the folks who can continue to make America great! 

My immigration bias  is based on a very elitist point of view ..the American research environment .. from  academe to tech industry .. excels because we draw on the world’s elite.  Our excellence reflects the amazing people who were smart enough to escape bad places and come here .. even from  what Trump calls “shithole countries.” 
An Irish colleague once objected when I remarked that the Irish must be the smartest folks in the world.  Coming from, Ireland, Rory told me I was wrong,  He said, “American Irish are smart but t real Irishmen are stupid.” I asked why he said that.  Rory answered, “Because all the smart ones came to the US to escape the potato famine and the damn Brits!”   I have heard much the same story from immigrants who came here after the Nigerian civil war, fled from China in the era of Mao, or my own grandparents fleeing the antisemitism of Eastern Europe.  
Of course not all the folks who fail to get here are … in Trump’s terms … are shitheads.  But the drive to come here and succeed is an obvious driver of true American exceptionalism.  Rory’s view is not racist.   Like WE Dubois, Rory believed that innate ability, the top 1 %, is spread equally across humanity.  Whoever, whatever country creates the environment where these people can thrive, will excel.  This is why so many Irish, German, Italian, Jewish and now Iranian, Chinese, Caribbean and African immigrants are excelling here …. they had the drive and the smarts to escape and then they, or their children, use American opportunity to thrive.  Frankly, the generation of African Americans who led the Great Migration and lit the fires of the civil rights revolution offer the same promise. 
As an American scientist I have seen this all my life. Our labs are filled with the best from all the continents (except Image result for trudeau's cabinetAntarctica).  The contrast with less open societies is dramatic.  Countries like France that emphasize their own folks  are not really competitive in science.  In contrast, Germany and Canada  have become a part of a world wide brain drain, bringing great scientists to become citizens.  The effect is not limited to scientists, Canada’s cabinet today looks like the UN!   

Even China is affected, though afflicted may be a better term.  Today, China is spending huge amounts of money to compete, but ,, with all due respect to the Chinese people, their best and brightest can only select from 1.3 billion folk. As long as the USA is open and a magnet for the best, we can draw on the population of the world, 7.6 billion.

So Mr. Trump, lets do it!  Lets make America great again not by chauvinism, but by attracting, welcoming and fostering the best!

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