Sam Zell to immigrants: maybe leave grandma at home

The real estate billionaire believes in an “intelligent immigration” solution

New York /
Oct.October 08, 2016 03:00 PM

Sam Zell is the child of Polish immigrants and he is quick to cite the immigrant experience as contributing to his success as a businessman. But with immigration once again a hot button issue coming up in the presidential election, Zell wants to promote what he calls “intelligent immigration.”

“I think being the child of immigrants, particularly immigrants of that recent vintage, number one, there was an extraordinary appreciation of how lucky you were to have been in the United States at that time,” Zell told Forbes in a recent interview. “My father used to say that in the United States the streets were paved with gold and he never lost his appreciation for how lucky he was that he and his family were allowed to come here and prosper.”

But when it comes to the issue today, Zell says he cannot tolerate any form of illegal immigration. Moreover, he promotes what he calls “intelligent immigration,” wherein the best and brightest are given priority.

“I’m not in favor of illegal anything–including illegal immigration,” Zell said. “As far as intelligent immigration, the focus of our immigration should be to encourage the best and brightest to both come here and stay here. I’m not as sympathetic about providing grandmothers immigration as I am about allowing people that we train to stay here and add to our economy.” [Forbes]Christopher Cameron


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