The Washington consensus is for emphasizing highly skilled immigrants. My column this week argues that should not come at the expense of unskilled immigrants:
There was Sergei Brin, who arrived in America at age six as a refugee from the Soviet Union. He went on to co-found Google. Abraham Rosenthal came to America from Canada as a boy and became the editor of the New York Times. Max Frankel came to America from Germany at age 10; he, too became the editor of the New York Times. Andras Istvan Grof came to America from Hungary at age 20 and supported himself through City College in New York in part by working as a summer bus-boy at a New Hampshire resort hotel; he went on, as Andrew Grove, to co-found and lead the microchip-maker Intel.
My favorite low-skill immigrant story, however — at least my favorite one that does not involve my own great-grandparents or grandparents — is the case of one Israel Isidore Beilin.