Thank immigration for the rocket launch

Thank immigration for the rocket launch


Originally published by The Washington Post

Regarding the Feb. 8 news article “Is this space industry’s giant leap?”:

The Tuesday launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket reflects the limitless bounds of ingenuity and brilliance of those daring to dream of a bigger, better tomorrow. Elon Musk, who founded SpaceX, the private enterprise responsible for launching the Falcon Heavy, said he hoped the launch would start a new “space race.” President Trump tweeted his congratulations, saying “this achievement, along with @NASA’s commercial and international partners, continues to show American ingenuity at its best!”

Indeed, it does. But it shows much more. Mr. Musk was born in South Africa and emigrated to the United States. His achievement (along with his many others, including founding Tesla and SolarCity) shows the power and benefits of preserving, if not expanding, the immigration opportunities in the United States so future presidents do not lose the chance to tweet of “American ingenuity.”

It’s somewhat ironic that Mr. Musk’s incredible achievement occurred now when our democratic system has failed to place a successful solution for “dreamers” on the launchpad.

The next space race needs to start with launching dreamers on a path to permanent residency and beyond.

Jesse M. Bless, Georgetown, Mass.

The writer is an immigration attorney and a former senior litigator at the Justice Department’s
Office of Immigration Litigation.

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