The United States is and will always be a nation of immigrants. Unfortunately, thanks to one particular presidential candidate, who also happens to be the child of immigrants and has a thing for marrying immigrant women, a good portion of this country has a negative view on immigrants. To counteract the GOP frontrunner’s constant badmouthing of immigrants, and to celebrate/kick off Immigrant Heritage Month, we’ve compiled a list of Latinos born abroad that are continuing to make America great.
Director of Johns Hopkins’ Brain Tumor Surgery Program
Photo Credit: Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa / Facebook
Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa is an immigrant from Mexicali, Harvard Medical School grad (with honors), neurosurgeon, professor, director and heads a lab studying brain tumors. He literally jumped the fence between the U.S. and Mexico and spent years working on the railroads in California before getting a scholarship to go to the University of California Berkley.
“I knew the risks,” Quiñones-Hinojosa said in his own online bio. “I had big dreams, and I would rather risk my life than stay in Mexico…I never felt like my life was hard though. It was a privilege for me to be here. I enjoyed every step because I knew it was all leading to something bigger.”
Real-Estate Developer Expanding Affordable Housing
Photo Credit: Related Group / Facebook
The son of Cuban parents and born in Argentina, Jorge Pérez has always played the role of immigrant. The real estate developer started by building affordable housing in the 1980s before getting into the luxury condo game. Valued at $3.4 billion, Pérez is looking to expand beyond the Miami condo business and has plans of investing in Cuba. He was once the advisor of Cuba to former president Bill Clinton.
Photo Credit: Monseyuz / Blogspot
The inventor of the AcceleGlove electronic glove, which translates American Sign Language into spoken and written words, is an immigrant from Puebla, Mexico. In his early thirties, this innovator was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study abroad in the U.S. at George Washington University and he set to work making his groundbreaking invention. Jose Hernandez-Rebollar was inspired to create the AcceleGlove to help people communicate within multi-lingual families. Essentially, it would help deaf children who speak English and American Sign Language to communicate with family members who only speak Spanish by translating the signs into written or spoken word.
Journalist and Author
Photo Credit: @jorgeramosnews / Instagram
Jorge Ramos is an award-winning journalist and one the faces chosen to appear on the 2015 cover of Time Magazine’s annual 100 most influential list. Since the beginning of the current election cycle, Ramos has been front and center in all things that are being said about and impacting the Latino community. He has been kicked out of a Donald Trump press conference, debated the border wall idea on Fox News and he even took the time to call out Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s corrupt government.
Founder of 3D Robotics
Photo Credit: @3drobotics / Instagram
Jordi Muñoz and his girlfriend moved from Mexico to the United States when he was 20 years old in 2007. But after moving to the States, Muñoz was stuck waiting seven months for his green card to be approved and sent to him. Instead of moping about and letting time slip by, the Mexican immigrant set to work building his very own drone in his garage. Almost 10 years later, Muñoz is the co-founder of the largest commercial drones manufacture, 3DR.
Goldman Sachs VP turned Activist
Photo Credit: @julissaarce / Twitter
Julissa Arce stunned the world when she admitted to climbing the ladder to being a Wall Street executive as a woman…AND an undocumented immigrant. Since the story of her success broke on an international stage, Arce has become a citizen and is using her voice to fight for other undocumented immigrants trying to make a life for themselves in the U.S.
Founder of ProAmérica Bank
Photo Credit: @MCS4Biz / Twitter
Contreras-Sweet is the founding chairwoman of the first Latino-formed commercial bank in California. Through hard work, Contreras-Sweet helped to build a create ProAmérica Bank before leaving to serve as the 24th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and as a member of President Obama’s cabinet. She is basically trying help the small-business market grow like only America can.