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The Success of Nigerian-Americans Shows Why Immigration is So Important to America's Success

There is a bit of a debate about whether Nigerian-Americans are America's most successful immigrant group, but there is no doubt of their contribution to the nation's prosperity.

OZY: "Today, 29 percent of Nigerian-Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 11 percent of the overall U.S. population, according to the Migrations Policy Institute. Among Nigerian-American professionals, 45 percent work in education services, the 2016 American Community Survey found, and many are professors at top universities. Nigerians are entering the medical field in the U.S. at an increased rate, leaving their home country to work in American hospitals, where they can earn more and work in better facilities. A growing number of Nigerian-Americans are becoming entrepreneurs and CEOs, building tech companies in the U.S. to help people back home."

The debate that I mentioned above isn't about how successful Nigerian-Americans are, it's that there are other immigrant groups that are even more accomplished. reported in June that if you look at the data from the US census bureau a bit differently, you find that some other immigrant groups have even higher levels of educational attainment with Indian-Americans obtaining graduate degrees at four times the rate of the overall population.

It's an interesting debate, but the major take-away is the importance of immigrants to America's future prosperity. There have been numerous studies recently concluding that rather than creating new impediments to immigration, the United States should be exploring ways to capture more of the world's talent.

Forbes: "The Muslim ban. The Wall. Children separated from their parents at the Mexican border. The past two years have seen an aggressive push by the Trump administration against both legal and illegal immigration. But it’s not just the United States seeing a backlash, says Harvard Business School Professor William R. Kerr."

“Nationalistic policies have gained strength all around the world,” Kerr says, pointing to Brexit in the U.K. and strains caused by the refugee crisis in Europe as indicators of anti-immigrant sentiment worldwide. “It’s very worrisome in the implications it could have for policy choices.”

"Kerr concludes that countries shutting the door on legal immigration are following the wrong approach. Far from being a drain on an economy, immigrants are actually an engine that helps drive innovation and growth —and could even become more vital to global competitiveness in the future."

If you want to discuss America's "greatness", you have to include the contribution of those that have come here from Nigeria, India and dozens of other nations to get an education, build wealth, start businesses and live the American dream.


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