Immigrants Fuel Silicon Valley and the American Dream

Posted on February 15, 2017

By Joanna Kulesa

Silicon Valley, my professional home for 20 years, is in many ways the ultimate embodiment of the American dream—a place where everyone can succeed if they have good ideas and are willing to work hard, regardless of circumstances of birth.

Our agency has worked with entrepreneurs of all religions and nationalities, from Muslims, Jews and Sikhs to hundreds of dreamers drawn to the Valley from Israel, India, Turkey, Russia, China and other nations around the globe.

Like many of you, I’m angry and concerned about the ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and hope the courts continue to block it.

Kulesa Faul agrees with the 127 companies—including Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Intel, Netflix and Twitter—that recently filed a legal brief opposing the ban.

We agree that the ban goes against American principles and hurts U.S. companies by hindering their ability to attract talent from outside the country and compete in an international marketplace.

Further, the business impact goes beyond the turmoil set in motion for current  H-1B visa holders.

Throughout history, millions of people around the world—including my great-grandparents from Ireland and Italy – have pursued the chance to start a new life in America. The next ‘big idea’ may not come from an established working immigrant, but 20 years from now from a brilliant child refugee who learned determination, grit and perseverance through his or her personal journey.

We believe that these qualities make America what it is and serve as the foundation of the entrepreneurial spirit.

We can’t let unfounded fears devastate what truly makes America great.

As the 127 companies so eloquently stated, “The tremendous impact of immigrants on America—and on American business—is not happenstance. People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life necessarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination and just plain guts. The energy they bring to America is a key reason why the American economy has been the greatest engine of prosperity and innovation in history.”

I hope the ban is permanently overturned—and that our leadership focuses on more effective ways to protect America that align with our natural entrepreneurial spirit and sense of inclusiveness.

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Joanna Kulesa has been building successful agencies in Silicon Valley for 20 years.  Her passion for outstanding client service is matched by her dedication to agency employees—reflected in its naming by Fortune as a Best Place to work for Camaraderie and a Best Place to Work for Women. Contact Joanna here.