More than half of the top American tech companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants and most of the rest of them are managed by first or second generation Americans. They com from every continent, possibly every country, in the world - and many of them, or their parents, arrived in the US in poverty.
How much poorer would our country be if they had been refused entry.
Apple founder Steve Jobs is the son of a Syrian immigrant,
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a second generation Cuban immigrant,
Google founder Sergey Brin was born in Russia, and
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is a Brazilian native.
Enterprise software firm Oracle counts two children of immigrants as founders, and all four founders of what would eventually become digital payments leader PayPal immigrated to the U.S.
SpaceX, of course, is founded and led by Elon Musk, a native of South Africa who attended college in Canada before immigrating to the U.S. The company reportedly hit a valuation of just over $100 billion in a secondary share transaction last October.
Stripe is co-founded by brothers Patrick and John Collison, who hail from Ireland. Patrick Collison, who also serves as the payment company’s CEO, came to the U.S. to attend MIT but left to build a startup. John Collison attended Harvard, but also left to pursue the startup life before completing his degree. Stripe’s last publicly disclosed valuation was $95 billion.
Instacart’s CEO, Fidji Simo, who took the post in August, hails from France. Meanwhile, Instacart’s founder and former CEO, Apoorva Mehta, was born in India. He moved to Libya shortly after he was born, and then to Canada at age 14. The company’s last reported valuation was around $39 billion.
Databricks’ founder and CEO, Ali Ghodsi, was born in Iran and moved to Sweden as a child. After completing a doctorate in Sweden, he joined UC Berkeley in California as a visiting scholar. Databricks, which offers AI-enabled tools for managing large quantities of data across platforms, was recently valued around $38 billion.
Chipmaker Nvidia has moved into the top seven, per CNBC. Its CEO and co-founder, Jensen Huang, is a native of Taiwan who immigrated to the U.S. with his family at age 9.
And those are only the founders. The “builders”, such as Andy Grove (former) CEO of Intel, Satya Nadella CEO of Microsoft, Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer and Stéphane Bancel CEO of Moderna are just a few which come to mind.
And the above is just representative of a small sliver of our commercial businesses with immigrants or their children in management positions.
On a “closer to home” basis, recent immigrants have built and supplied personnel to hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the nation. The sort of 16 hour per day businesses that we all depend on which Americans don’t have the incentive nor stamina to keep open despite their frequently minimal profitability.
Sure immigrants should be “documented” and vetted, but in order to do that efficiently, our systems need to change. In the meantime, it serves no particular purpose to ship new arrivals off to “points unknown” rather than to integrate the vast majority who are honest and hard-working into the local society.