Immigrants Bring Necessary Ambition to the U.S.

In the wake of Pope Francis' remarks to Congress, an American doctor of Italian descent reflects on immigration in the US.

This article, written by Dr. Jon Gaudio, appears on The Day.

Immigrants bring necessary ambition to the U.S.

Immigration is a hot topic.

I’m not sure why. We are all immigrants. Even the Pope is an immigrant. Let’s face it: people of all races move around. And it’s a good thing, I think.

I have a patient whom I enjoy seeing because he’s a “paisan,” a fellow Italian-American named Frank. Frank told me how, when he was growing up in New London, his lunch was Italian cold-cuts with roasted peppers and olive oil on fresh Italian bread. His Irish friends at school thought his lunch looked great. Frank was fascinated by their lunch. He’d never seen peanut butter before, so he didn’t know quite how to eat it, but he was delighted to trade his sandwich for peanut butter between two slices of white Wonder bread. Frank didn’t know about peanut butter or how to order food in a restaurant.

My father was an immigrant. When he came here at 11 years old, he was pretty much surrounded by fellow Italians who looked after each other. The first time he ever went to a restaurant was when the father of his best friend in high school took them both out. That friend was a Jewish kid, a descendant of Eastern-European immigrants who became my father’s college roommate, introduced my father to my mother, and remains his lifelong friend. Read more at The Day.

Jon Gaudio, MD is a cardiologist practicing in New London. While Jon understands that good food is made in countries all over the world, he believes that 1. Italian food is second to none; 2. his wife is the best living Italian cook (or, at least, tied with his mother); 3. Italian food should be considered its own food group; and 4. If Marie Antoinette were Italian, she wouldn’t have just said let them eat cake, she would have invited them in and made them eat everything;. These may not be medical opinions, but they are, in the spirit of full disclosure, the opinions which fundamentally inform his writing.

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