“We would not have become a global superpower without the contributions of immigrants who built the railroads and canals that opened up the west, who invented ground-breaking products that revolutionized global commerce, and who pioneered scientific, engineering, and medical advances that made America the most innovative country in the world.
“But make no mistake: we will not remain a global superpower if we continue to close our doors to people who want to come here to work hard, start businesses, and pursue the American dream. The American dream cannot survive if we keep telling the dreamers to go elsewhere.
“It’s what I call national suicide – and that’s not hyperbole. Every day that we fail to fix our broken immigration laws is a day that we inflict a wound on our economy. Today, we may have turned away the next Albert Einstein or Sergey Brin. Tomorrow, we may turn away the next Levi Strauss or Jerry Yang.
This is far too true, and it saddens me to see the growing anti-immigration drive and calls for isolationism. The United States is powerful because of the risk and work of the brave men and women who came to our shores over these last few centuries.
To turn away the next generation only serves to weaken our future on every possible front.
Simply put, it is a betrayal of our core principles as a nation.
It’s a betrayal born of complacency and fear.
We can do better.