Pai, Speaking of Immigration, Put His Career on the Line

Paistudents“My love and reverence for this country comes from living in the house of Raj and Radha Pai. My parents know a little something about the American Dream. They came to this country 46 years ago with literally no assets other than $10, a transistor radio, and a desire to achieve that dream.” Pai is a brilliant lawyer steeped in politics. He surely realized his job could disappear if Trump noticed the speech Pai gave in honor or Ronald Reagan.

Pai will go down in history as a man who killed Net Neutrality, or tried to. There’s more to him than that, including the courage to stand up for his very strong beliefs.

He’s wrong in many of those beliefs: AT&T has made clear that killing neutrality will not lead to the increase in investment Pai expects. T-Mobile & Verizon will build in 3.5 Ghz spectrum without the concessions Pai is about to give them; much, probably most, of the money he thinks will go to expanding broadband is wasted.

But he’s right that immigrants should not be scapegoats.  

From his speech 

I spoke earlier about how much my love and reverence for this country comes from growing up in Ronald Reagan’s America. Even more so, it came from living in the house of Raj and Radha Pai. My parents know a little something about the American Dream. They came to this country 46 years ago with literally no assets other than $10, a transistor radio, and a desire to achieve that dream. I think of all their sacrifices, all those risks they took, all those long hours they worked, all those moments when they must have worried about what the future would hold. I think of how hard it must have been—and how proud they were to make it and give me and my sister a better future. And then I think of what Ronald Reagan said on the last full day of his Presidency. “Since this is the last speech that I will give as President,” he said, “I think it’s fitting to leave one final thought, an observation about a country I love. It was stated best in a letter I received not long ago. A man wrote me and said, ‘You can go to live in France, but you cannot become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Turkey or Japan, but you cannot become a German, a Turk, or a Japanese.

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