My heart is breaking for the immigrants and refugees who have the values and work ethic this country is built from but will no longer have the chance to live here.
Some of you may know that I came here at age 5 from communist Poland. My family entered the U.S. under political refugee status. A wave of anti-Semitism infected Poland after the 7 Day War in Israel, and the Prime Minister of Poland, a puppet of the Russian Regime, went on Polish TV and encouraged all the Jews left (90% had been killed during the holocaust) to go to Palestine where they belonged! My father, then 32, who had survived the Holocaust by escaping to Siberia with his family, said to my Catholic-Polish mother, we need to leave now! 11,000 of us left in 1968 because we feared another Holocaust. Fortunately for us, the U.S. let us in, and we arrived in March of 1969, just before I started first grade.
For almost 30 years, my passion has been finding the best talent, first for an investment bank and later as an in-house law firm recruiter. For the past 20 years, I have had the privilege of finding the right talent for top law firms across the country.
I firmly believe that motivation and work ethic trump (no pun intended) academic smarts and pedigree every day!
So as I hear daily about Trump’s “fear of the other” and his closing our borders to immigrants and refugees, I am deeply saddened. What makes this country incredible is that we welcome people others want to persecute and those brave people reward us with their hard work and talent. Yes, there are exceptions, but having recruited hundreds of people who were not born here, I know that the vast majority have a huge motivation to contribute; that has inspired me and will continue to do so despite political protectionism and fear!