Immigrants Of The Week: Lenny Krayzelburg, Parminder Nagra, Charlize Theron, Lou Dobbs' Colleagues, And Sidney Poitier
by Greg Siskind
Editor's note: Here are some entries from Greg Siskind's blog.
Missed a day yesterday as I've been traveling.
One of the most successful athletes in modern
I had the opportunity to meet Lenny Krayzelburg shortly after he won several medals at the 2000
Parminder's name is not familiar to most Americans, but most of us probably would know her if we saw her. She starred in the hit movie Bend it Like Beckham and had a lead role in Ella Enchanted and has played Dr. Neela Rasgotra for the past four seasons on the hit American show ER.
[UPDATE: I forgot to mention something immigration-related that I thought was interesting. I caught an interview with Ms. Nagra some time back with talk show host Craig Ferguson and the two were commiserating about DHS port officers and the poor treatment each had received by the immigration immigration officials.]
Most Americans have no clue that South African
Theron is an immigrant. And she's
not an immigrant who came as a little kid. She came to the
Tonight I was working out and my gym was
showing CNN on a monitor. Lou Dobbs' nightly rant was showing and I didn't need
to actually hear the first story to be appalled. Just the title was enough. I
could tell from the video that the story was on Elvira Arellano and her
speaking out to the Mexican parliament regarding the
Chutzpah is a Yiddish term and there's a bit of irony in the xenophobic Dobbs show using the term. First, it means audacity, gumption, nerve, etc. It often refers to someone who does something wrong and is non-apologetic about it. Which described Dobbs to a tee. Here was a guy who built his career as a business reporter, but then was washed up in the ratings. So he re-invented himself as a populist to get ratings and acts every night like he's had these beliefs all his life.
There is also irony in choosing a Yiddish word
at all. Yiddish is a language created by Jewish immigrants in central and eastern Europe and is a mixture of German, Hebrew and other
languages. It was the first language of millions of Jewish immigrants to the
My other favorite thing about tonight's broadcast, by the way, was the poll at the end. Dobbs usually runs an unscientific viewer poll that is ridiculously biased in the way it is worded. And the people who are in to this show enough to bother to respond are the hardcore anti-immigrants. So the polls usually reflect results that would have made Saddam Hussein blush.
Tonight's question: "Are you outraged
that the Mexican Senate supports Elvira Arellano's claim that the
It's embarrassing. CNN used to be all about being the leading broadcast journalism organization in the country. And then it started to get whooped in the ratings by Fox and it's opinion shows. So CNN decided to blur all the lines of what is journalism and run Dobbs' nightly propaganda show. Any CNN reporter who appears on this show should really be ashamed of themselves.
Anyway, a few weeks back I started paying attention to who I was seeing on CNN everyday and started to notice a lot of folks that appeared to be immigrants. And I thought - "How ironic?" CNN runs the most anti-immigrant news show on television, hosted by Mr. Dobbs. If Mr. Dobbs really kept to his rhetoric, why is he not railing against these immigrant job stealers?. Based on his views, shouldn't CNN insist on hiring only American-born journalists? I feel bad for these journalists. They probably have to be very careful about criticizing Dobbs lest they risk the wrath of the big CNN ratings leader.
So I've decided to honor 14 CNN reporters who are part of CNN's American network and have to put up with Mr. Dobbs. There may be more, but here are folks that I've confirmed were born in other countries. They need our pity -
Christiane Amanpour - British/Iranian
Guillermo Arduino -
Matthew Chance -
Michael Holmes -
Lola Martinez -
Octavia Nasr -
Paula Newton -
Betty Nguyen -
Ali Velshi -
Zain Verjee - Kenya/India
Michael Ware -
Harris Whitbeck -
Rick Sanchez -
If you make a short list of the greatest
living actors in
If you're at all a student of
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.