I wore my Superman T-shirt the other day because it amuses the grandchildren. It is also nostalgic for me because of the many hours I spent as a child reading comic books in my aunt’s store and watching the man of steel on TV and in the movies.
Superman, as created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel in 1938, was the ultimate refugee/immigrant. His parents sent him off to an unknown world to save his life. He was welcomed, and loved, and nourished in all ways. Then he returned the favor by saving untold numbers of the citizens of Metropolis from various disasters. Although he might have been an ordinary citizen on his home planet, his strength was extraordinary on this one.
Immigrant Superheroes of science, music, sports, government, military, arts, literature, religion, and finance have all made significant contributions to the well-being and growth of the United States. Albert Einstein, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Irving Berlin, Madeleine Albright, Martina Navratilova, Mother Cabrini, I.M. Pei, Hector Garcia-Molina, Igor Stravinsky, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Archbishop Joseph Tawil, Omar Sharif, Charla Baklayan Faddoul, Salman Rushdi, John James Audubon, Gen. John Shalikashvili, George Soros, Sammy Sosa, Elie Wiesel, Michael J. Fox. Michael J. Fox? Yes, he is an immigrant and he is a hero for his brave public face and advocacy for Parkinson’s disease research.
These are mostly familiar names. There are a multitude of Nobel, and other prize winners, with obscure names from many cultures. My ancestors, and most of yours, were heroes for risking their lives to come to America.
How many more heroes are waiting to come? Let’s give them a chance.