While I was visiting northern Colorado earlier this summer, I found myself people-watching at a pretentious supermarket, the likes of which we do not have in Cedar Rapids. The shoppers all looked the same, and I found myself thinking, “This is so bland. Yes, boring and bland.”
Our cultural diversity — different people, different styles, different experiences and different potentials — that’s what makes our society interesting. That is a gift we enjoy from our “melting pot” history and it is something that enriches our state today.
Immigration enriches us in other ways as well. Iowa’s labor force is 5.3 percent foreign-born, and these business men and women generate $216 million in income for Iowa each year. More than 50 percent of our state’s science, technology, engineering and math Ph.D.s are foreign-born, and they are helping to build our future.
We must make sure our openness to immigration, and all the benefits it brings, will continue and expand. The support of our legislators is crucial. Tell them you think immigration reform is a vital priority. That’s their job. It’s the least we can do.
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