Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Under-recognized Connection Between Jeremy Lin and Immigration Policy

Harvard Economics graduate Jeremy Lin has taken the basketball world by storm. Lin received no Division 1 scholarships despite leading Palo Alto High School to the California state championship (Harvard gives athletes ample "financial aid" but no scholarships). The Ivy League has sent dozens of players to the NBA over the years (such as Hall of Famer Bill Bradley), but Lin went un-drafted despite a stellar collegiate career.
Despite being labeled as a Division III player at best before he had played his first college game, Lin ended his college career as the first player in Ivy League history to record 1,483 points, 487 rebounds, 406 assists and 225 steals over a career.
Lin showed flashes of brilliance in NBA summer league play but was relegated to the bench. His recent success with the New York Knicks has all the hallmarks of a quintessential All-American sports story (a la Rocky or Rudy).

As David Leopold, past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently noted, Lin's remarkable story would not have been possible if immigration restrictionists (some of whom wish to end all immigration whatsoever, legal or otherwise) were able to set policy.

[I]f the restrictionists had their way his story would not be possible and America would lose out, just as it does when it closes its doors to those seeking the American dream who, over the course of American history, have helped make this country the greatest country in the world.
A favorable immigration policy can benefit the United States in multifarious sectors, sports included.

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