Americans love a good success story. From fictional characters like Cinderella and Orphan Annie, to real-life examples like Levi Strauss and Sergey Brin, the rags-to-riches tale is as American as apple pie.

Closely correlated with the rags-to-riches story is the American immigrant’s narrative. Every year, thousands of immigrants stream into the United States. America is home to no fewer than 38 million immigrants, speaking a total of 337 different languages. And yet, the average citizen is bombarded with political talking points about how immigration will be the downfall of America. It would do us well to remember that  the United States was built with the blood, sweat and tears of immigrants – many of whom went on build vast empires and create much-needed jobs for their communities. In fact, Forbes.com recently uncovered a staggering statistic – 40% of Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants, or the children of immigrants.

Not yet convinced? Below are just a few examples of immigrants who started 16 of America’s iconic companies:

1. Sergey Brin – Co-founder, Google (Country of origin: Russia)
2. Alexander Graham Bell – Founder, AT&T (Country of origin: Scotland)
3. Marcus Goldman – Founder, Goldman Sachs (Country of origin: Germany)
4. Pierre Omidyar – Founder, eBay (Country of origin: France)
5. Theodore and Milton Deutschmann – Founders, RadioShack (Country of origin: England)
6. Maxwell Kohl – Founder, Kohl’s (Country of origin: Poland)
7. Daniel Aaron – Founder, Comcast (Country of origin: Germany)
8. Sol Shenk – Founder, BigLots! (Country of origin: Russia)
9. Jerry Yang – Founder, Yahoo (Country of origin: Taiwan)
10. John W. Nordstrom – Founder, Nordstrom (Country of origin: Sweden)
11. William Colgate – Founder, Colgate (Country of origin: England)
12. Nathan Cummings – Founder, Sara Lee (Country of origin: Canada)
13. E.I. du Pont – Founder, Dupont (Country of origin: France)
14. James L. Kraft – Founder, Kraft Foods (Country of origin: Canada)
15. Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart – Founders, Pfizer (Country of origin: Germany)
16. William Procter and James Gamble – Founders, Procter and Gamble (Country of origin: England and Ireland)

It remains to be seen whether the GOP-controlled House will finally move on immigration reform by the August recess, or if President Obama will feel compelled to ease deportations via executive order. One thing is clear – the time for immigration reform is now. The United States, a ragtag land of immigrants and their children, cannot afford to continue denying the very genesis of its greatness.

For more information, please visit www.mmurraylaw.com , or contact Michael G. Murray, Esq. at 305-895-2500 (office) or michael@mmurraylaw.com