Sputnik Moment for the Arts?

This weekend I’m going out with some friends to a Korean restaurant in Houston. Not the kind of place where the menu is in Korean and the food looks like it could be in Seoul. We don’t have such places in Houston, or New York, or LA. To find authentic food, other than that country, you need to travel to Canada. Why? Because we will simply not give immigration to Chefs.

President Obama reiterated our Sputnik moment, a moment when we competed with Russia in the space war and won it. And yes, we want the brightest and the best.  But only the brightest and the best in Science. We give an additional 17 month work permit for foreign students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The rest of the subjects don’t matter to us. In general Extraordinary Ability visas are easier for Scientists to obtain than artists.  And yes, the measly budget that the Government spends on the National Endowment for the Arts gets slashed every time, to increase budgets like the military.

As a Society we consciously chose to become a melting pot. And we did that with great success. Countries like Canada, England or France which chose multiculturalism created sub classes of immigrants with awful race relations. Yet we are not adding to our melting pot.

During New York’s Fashion Week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued that the country’s immigration policies jeopardize New York’s status as “the fashion capital of the world,” saying they limit visas for designers, manufacturers and, yes, models.  Similarly throughout the country artistic performances get canceled because artists don’t get visas. And what’s strange is that most politicians, including President Obama are humanities majors. Yet until they realize the importance of the arts, I have to be content with my American version of Korean food.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information.



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