Exploring the Indian immigrant experience

     (image from cover of book Those Immigrants!/Fingerprint Publishing)

    (image from cover of book Those Immigrants!/Fingerprint Publishing)

    Immigration reform is a cornerstone of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign. Perhaps lost in the political season rhetoric are the examples of flesh and blood immigrant families who flourish on American soil.

    Clinical psychologist Scott Haas sheds light on success stories in his book, “Those Immigrants! Indians in America: A Psychological Exploration of Achievement.”

    Among the 30 profiles in the book is one Ajay Raju, chair and CEO of the Dilworth Paxson law firm in Philadelphia. Haas and Raju joined NewsWorks Tonight’s Dave Heller to discuss what it means to be an Indian immigrant in the United States.

    The big impetus for Indian immigration into the United States can be traced back to the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, an attempt by the U.S. to compete with what was then the Soviet Union by allowing more engineers and scientists into the country.

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    “In addition,” said Haas, “civil rights legislation inspired [Presidents] Kennedy, and Johnson, and others to try and change the 1925 laws, which, in my opinion, were a racist series that kept people from Asia out of the United States.”

    On the topic of recent anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, Raju said he is optimistic. “The handful of small-minded folks who are making it difficult for immigrants are tiny, but because of social media, the voices are louder now, but still a minority.”

    Haas added that dissuading immigration would ultimately hurt the country. “The economic impact is potentially disastrous. They’re going to go to other countries where they are welcome, where they are made to feel part of the community.”

    You can hear the full conversation below.


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