JFK and a Nation of Immigrants: Transcript

JAMIE RICHARDSON: The debate surrounding immigration is not a new one in the United States. It wasn't even new in John F. Kennedy's time. But as a senator, he argued for a fair but generous policy towards people wishing to come to the US. As the great grandson of immigrants fleeing the devastating potato famine in Ireland, President Kennedy was a living example of what immigrants and their descendants could achieve in the US if given the opportunity.

MATT PORTER: Today we'll learn more about President Kennedy's views on immigration and hear from some notable US immigrants themselves, including Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the gold star family who lost a son in the Iraq war, former SNL cast member Horatio Sanz, and Black Panther and Good Place actor Bambadjan Bamba. We'll have all of this and more on this week's episode of JFK35.


MATT PORTER: Welcome to this episode of JFK35. I'm Matt Porter.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: And I'm Jamie Richardson. In 1958 the Anti-Defamation League published an essay by then-Senator John F. Kennedy, highlighting the contributions of immigrants to the United States. He decided to update that essay, "A Nation of Immigrants," into a book in 1963 as he was getting ready to ask Congress to overhaul the nation's immigration laws. A Nation of Immigrants discusses the history of immigration in the United States and explains how each wave of immigration affected the next. It also confronts the discrimination and waves of nativism and bigotry new immigrants faced.

MATT PORTER: But it's an overall positive book. President Kennedy gives examples of all the contributions immigrants made to the country from everything including the economy, agriculture, sciences and the arts. He also described how national customs have evolved to include those from other countries and cultures.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: President Kennedy also calls for an update of the immigration laws in the US-- laws that, at the time, relied on what JFK considered to be an arbitrary and discriminatory national origins quota system. This system heavily favored northern and Western European countries and limited immigration from Asia and Africa.

MATT PORTER: Making immigration laws more equitable for people around the globe, especially those fleeing persecution, natural disasters, and other hardships was important to JFK and goes all the way back to his time in the House and the Senate. At the time of his death, two bills had been submitted for immigration reform, and in 1965, the Immigration and Naturalization Act was passed. Among its provisions, it abolished the national origins quota, something that JFK had been advocating for many, many years.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: The JFK Library Foundation's new frontier network recently held an event in honor of the sixtieth anniversary of A Nation of Immigrants' first publishing we were able to speak to some of the panelists before the event. And today, we're sharing those interviews with you.

First up is comedian and former Saturday Night Live actor Horatio Sanz, an actor in "The Black Panther," and "The Good Place" Bambadjan Bamba. Horatio, who was born in Chile and immigrated when he was very young, recently became a US citizen. Bambadjan was born in the Ivory Coast and emigrated with his family when he was an elementary school and is also a DREAMer. Let's listen in to their interview.

MATT PORTER: Well, we'd now like to welcome two amazingly creative and talented people to the show who are also immigrants to the United States. Joining us is former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and actor Horatio Sanz. Horatio also has his own podcast, "The Hooray Show."

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Also with us is actor Bambadjan Bamba, whose acting credits include "The Black Panther" and the good place. Bambadjan also wrote an essay about his immigrant story in the book An American Like Me-- Reflections On Life Between Cultures. Bambadjan and Horatio, welcome to the podcast.

HORATIO SANZ: Thank you for having us.


MATT PORTER: All right, so Bambadjan, you came from West Africa and moved to the South Bronx in 1992 when you were 10. And in your essay you wrote for American Like Me, you described having a really tough time initially adjusting to the US. In fact, I think you described your first few days at school as what you called some of the worst in school histories.

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: Days of my life.

MATT PORTER: So can you tell us some of that story?

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: It's interesting because I'm from the Ivory Coast. And in French, it's Cote d'Ivoire. It's a Francophone country. And my dad was a high level banker, and we were doing pretty well, having a pretty good life.

And then the political situation started getting crazy, so the family decided-- no not the family. My dad decided to move us to America to seek political asylum. So I was like, hey, America, Disneyland, you know, Mickey Mouse.

And then I get here, and we're in the South Bronx. And it's mean. It's tough. You got to fight to make it. So my first day in school, I literally got in a fight with the guy that was supposed to translate for me throughout the day.

MATT PORTER: So not Disneyland, then.

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: Absolutely not. What's the opposite of Disneyland, Horatio?

HORATIO SANZ: The opposite of Disneyland is the South Bronx.

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: I think too hard for jokes. You just, like, drop it. Man!

MATT PORTER: You know, in that, as you-- you know, your day one wasn't grade. You know, day two and three weren't too much better. But you started to try to acclimate to the country you're in. Tell us, like, what you were doing to try to fit in and--


MATT PORTER: --how hard that was.

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: I mean, yeah, my goal after that first day of losing that first fight-- and everyone in school kind of knew me as this African kid that didn't speak English and was a punk. So every day after school, they would chase me down to try to beat me up. So I was like, all right, I got to get tough. I got to beat some kids up.

I got to be cool. I got to speak English. So I started watching as much television as possible-- you know, "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," "Martin," what other show, "Brandi" around that time, and listening to a lot of hip hop. So once I got the language down a little bit and the music and the hip hop swag came in, I found a way to make some money legally and bought some cool gear.

It was good. I was good to go. I was cool.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Awesome. And Horatio, you come from Santiago, Chile, the youngest of three siblings. So what was it like for your transition to the US?

HORATIO SANZ: Well, you know, I joke that my dad wore a big hat and I snuck into the country inside that hat because I was so little. I was two months when I got here. so--


HORATIO SANZ: --I'm pretty much-- how would you say? You know, like, I'm pretty American. And I just-- but until this election, the last election and what happened, you know, I figured it's time to become a citizen. So I did become a citizen in June.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: That's awesome.

MATT PORTER: Congratulations.

HORATIO SANZ: Thank you, yeah.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: That's so cool.

MATT PORTER: What was that like? We have naturalization ceremonies here. Yours was at the Los Angeles Convention Center-- looked huge from the picture you sent. How many people were you with, and just what was that like for you that day?

HORATIO SANZ: There was 4,000 people that were sworn in that day. And yeah, it's funny because I had a microphone on me because my friend was doing a little video. You know, he was going to use it for his organization, Comedy Resistance. And so I had this $500 mic on me, and I had to throw it in the garbage because as I was entering, like, as we're going into the room where I'm going to be sworn in,

I have this mic. And they're like, well, you have to go outside and take it somewhere. And I was like, I've done too much. I've gone too far. So I had to throw it in the garbage.


HORATIO SANZ: But you know, the guys were fine. They had insurance and stuff. But yeah, I mean, it was very-- I was very proud.

And, like, surprisingly, I'm patriotic. I just kind of always have been, but I've never talked about it, like, my love of the country. And so it was kind of like get married to the country.


HORATIO SANZ: Made it official.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Romantic. So we also-- you guys went on a tour earlier today of the museum here at the library. What were your kind of impressions of President Kennedy? Were you aware of him kind of throughout as you're growing up and whatnot?

HORATIO SANZ: I was aware that he was in the boat accident, and I was aware-- I really, really did love the President. I grew up kind of idolizing JFK. So there was a lot that I've heard and seen. But coming here, you're just, like, overwhelmed by how impressive a man he was.

And, you know, considering who our president is now, it's just amazing just to be in this place where they honor this man. And it is. It's just overwhelming how cool-- not cool, but how great a man he was.

Like, it's just-- considering like who are politicians are now, you know, you think, like, anybody could be president now. But at the time, you know, you think about his accomplishments, and he's just terrifically qualified to be president. So what I get from being in here is just that overwhelming feeling of, like, what a great person that was and all the change that came from that presidency. So it's a very cool building. It's my first time.


JAMIE RICHARDSON: Thanks for coming.

HORATIO SANZ: Thank you.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Bambadjan, how did you feel about everything?

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: Yeah, I mean, it was my first time too. And I echo the same feelings. I'm like, wow, if I was a kid growing up and I saw him as president, I would be like, man, there's no way I could ever be president. You've got to be so brilliant.

So what I knew about him, I mean, the main thing was definitely the race to the moon and how America was, I guess, in the race with Russia to see who's going to put the first man on the moon. And he was kind of like spearheading that race. And then I also knew about him because there were pictures of our president, Houphouet-Boigny, in the White House with him and, you know, his wife Jackie and our first lady Therese. And I always saw those images on just Google.

And I was like, wow, it's so fascinating that a president from a small country in Africa is here in the White House and being honored. And I didn't know the depth of it until today when I saw images that I haven't seen before. I seen hand-writing invitations from JFK to Houphouet-Boigny and Houphouet-Boigny responding.

I saw pictures of Therese and Jackie, the seating arrangement, and the gift he gave. Kind of got me emotional. It's like, wow, that's pretty special.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Yeah, I love seeing-- there is the cover of an Ebony magazine where the first lady is on there.


JAMIE RICHARDSON: And it's just like so cool.

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: It's interesting. She was called, like, the Jackie Kennedy of Africa because she was so fashionable.

MATT PORTER: Yeah, that exhibit, it's so coincidental that you just happened to come, you know, months after we just installed it. So, really happy that you got to see that.

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: I'm glad because no one knows about Ivory Coast. I'm like, yo, we're a pretty cool country.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Yeah, come see this exhibit. It's like, you guys are awesome, yeah.

MATT PORTER: So President Kennedy-- you know, this is a podcast about him-- wrote the book A Nation of Immigrants and talked about the great contributions immigrants make to the United States. Of course, President Kennedy himself came from a family of immigrants. What do you think about the idea of America as a nation of immigrants? You guys all came to your top of your fields where you are now starting as newcomers to this country. What are your impressions of that idea?

HORATIO SANZ: Yeah, we were having dinner earlier, and we were talking about how lucky we are to be able to do that in this-- and just, this country is exactly what people talk about, like a land of dreams. Like, I got on "Saturday Night Live." I can't believe it. And so you know, that-- I'm sorry, keep--

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: No we were having the same conversation. And I was like, man I'm from a little village in Cote D'ivoire. How am I in "Black Panther" today? You know what I mean?

Such a monumental film. What other country can that, you know, happen in? And like Obama said, this country has its origin story in immigration and immigrants. So it's a country of immigrants, and it's all the contributions, the culture, the tradition, the beauty that immigrants bring, and especially that fighting spirit to make it, that that's what makes America great.

And without that ingredient, I don't know. Be kind of stale, right? There wouldn't be any--

HORATIO SANZ: Yeah, I mean, to think about other countries even more, like Chile, and you know, how there was a dictator when I was younger. And so you know, the people didn't have a choice. So like, to be here and to be able to chase your dreams, I mean, it's fantastic.

Like, people who come in from other places and they like-- I'm just so impressed how-- like, I'm very hopeful for the country when I see-- like, I meet people today, immigrants, and they're studying at UMass. And they're just so impressive. And I'm like, oh, good because you know, you think that we're all just goofballs out there.

But they're just such, you know, prepared people. And yeah, I think that when people leave their country, they're-- it takes a lot to leave your country. And I think the people that end up coming into this country are probably-- you know, they're not rapists and, you know-- not at all.

I mean, the people that come to this country are impressive on their own just to make that move. So immigrants-- yeah, and of course, like, we were immigrants from England that started the country. As far as like-- but my contribution as far as like my culture, I grew up in Chicago, you know? So--


HORATIO SANZ: --my culture is just that. And as far as-- and I grew up watching "Saturday Night Live." And so I didn't really have any kind of Latino thing to put forward to share.

But I am. I'm ingrained. It's in my blood. It's in my heart.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: And so kind of talking about-- you see the young immigrants at UMass, and everyone's, like, hustling so hard and working so hard. What advice would you have for other young immigrants who are maybe listening to this podcast or doing something here?

HORATIO SANZ: Well, I mean, you would know better, right? You came when you were 10.


HORATIO SANZ: I've always been here so. I don't have much of that. But I can say to, like, the people, a little advice is just-- it sounds silly, but it's just like, you know, go for it. The silliest thing that people-- you know, your dreams are-- you're able to pursue any dream in this country. And that's just the most impressive thing.

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: Indeed. Your dreams are valid. If you make it here, especially from a struggling nation, it's a great privilege to be here.

So take advantage of it and, you know, explore all the opportunities because it's the land of endless opportunities, especially if you just keep fighting. So just never give up. Keep fighting.

If you fall, wipe yourself off. Keep it moving, and whoever you are at your core, just keep sharing that. Keep letting that light shine because that's what makes you unique.

And in my case, I mean, I was hiding the fact that I was undocumented for a very long time. And as soon as I announced it publicly, it's really made a difference, you know? Ive like settled into who I am and even a part of my calling or purpose. So it's not to be taken lightly.

MATT PORTER: Well, thank you, both. Thank you, Horatio, and Bambadjan for coming in here on the podcast and sharing your stories. President Kennedy once called our history of descending from immigrant families, immigrants who came here and made better lives for themselves, he called that "the great inheritance." So I just want to say people like you who've come from across the globe and rose to the top is truly what makes America great. So thank you very much for being here.

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: No, thank you.

HORATIO SANZ: Thank you, guys.

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: If I can say one thing, America has a legacy of accepting immigrants, of accepting those who are fleeing war and famine. And that's really why America has been blessed so much. I mean, it's endless amounts of blessing.

I was talking to Khan, Mr. Khan earlier. And he was talking about the beauty of the founding documents and how they're still breathing and alive today. And that's just not a fluke.

There's like a supernatural power, and it comes with accepting and giving back and flowing. Don't be like the Dead Sea, where it's like, we're keeping everything for ourselves. But the more that you flow, you know, the more prosperous we all become. So yeah.

MATT PORTER: Wise words, and from someone who wasn't born here but came here and relishes that fact. So thank you--

BAMBADJAN BAMBA: Indeed, yeah. It's huge.

MATT PORTER: What a great interview Horatio and Bambadjan were. Jamie, you know, it's really interesting to hear their conversation about both their stories growing up-- you know, Bambadjan coming in as a refugee and Horatio sort of growing up but not really connecting his immigrant culture until much later on in life-- really, really good stories there.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Yeah, I think it really shows that, I mean, we-- people can come from all over the globe. And again, like, there is this idea of immigration being this sort of monolithic thing. But I mean, you have these two vastly different experiences and cultures to draw back on and the different paths that they've taken since then.

MATT PORTER: Pretty amazing, especially, you know, both of them rising to the top of their fields. Pretty cool.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Yeah, it was so incredible to meet both of them.

MATT PORTER: Our second interview was with gold star family Khizr and Ghazala Khan, who gave a tribute to their son at the 2016 national convention. Their son had died while serving in Iraq. We also speak with an immigration scholar, Sayu Bhojwani. We do apologize that the sound isn't as clear in this particular interview, but please do listen, as it a great talk.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: So we are honored today to have with us Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the gold star family who entered the national stage at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, when they gave a tribute to their son, US Army Captain Humayun Khan, who died in 2004 while serving the United States in the Iraq war Khizr has since written the book An American Family about his and his family's pursuit of the American dream.

MATT PORTER: We're also very excited to have Dr. Sayu Bhojwani here. She's an immigration scholar and author of the book People Like Us-- the New Wave of Candidates Knocking At Democracy's Door. She's also founder of the organization New American Leaders, which prepares first and second generation immigrants to run for, and succeed, in elected offices nationwide. Khizr, Ghazala, Sayu, thanks for joining us, and welcome to the podcast.


GHAZALA KHAN: Thank you.

KHIZR KHAN: Thank you.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: So we want to set the stage a little for our listeners. So can you tell us how you all came to the United States? What were your paths to becoming American citizens? Sayu, can you start for us?

SAYU BHOJWANI: Sure. So I actually immigrated, or my family immigrated, from India to Belize in Central America and then when I was ready to go to college, I came to the United States as an international student on an international student visa. And then I started working and got a green card through my employer and eventually became a citizen. And that process took, from the time I first came to United States as a student to the day I became a citizen, was about 17 years.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Oh wow, that's great. And Mr. and Mrs. Khan, can you please share your story?

GHAZALA KHAN: We came in this country because my husband came to study here. I followed him to visit and stayed with him for three, four months. I had very young, two children at that time, two and three years old.

And we really appreciated the way people received us. I am typical Pakistani woman. I wear my own clothes.

I wear my culture I brought with me. I didn't leave it behind. So everyone used to ask me, why you are not wearing other clothes?

I said, why do you wear clothes? To feel comfortable. So that's what I do. I feel comfortable and enjoy.

So we became very good friends all together. And that was the time when I really started appreciating the people when get together and enjoy talking to each other, enjoy their culture, enjoy their families, get-togethers. So I thought, this is the country where we should bring our children to raise, to give them a high education, to give them family life. That was the point of me coming in here.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: That's wonderful. Thank you.

MATT PORTER: Yeah, one thing I'd like to talk about is what was it like for you, Mr. and Mrs. Khan, as coming here? What was the process like for moving halfway across the world, coming to the United States, and ultimately becoming citizens? What was that like for you?

KHIZR KHAN: Well, it was first, just a footnote to what Ghazala said, my grandfather, when I was growing up, used to say consistently that a person is not complete unless your education is complete. So it was that dream that I pursued, came to study. But what made us decide to stay was the interaction with the people that were our neighbors that we first got to know as Americans in United States and away from United States.

And I give you a very short example. Ghazala and kids had just arrived. I went to the airport.

We were living in Houston. I went to receive them, brought them home. We had rented a $200 bedroom, one bedroom apartment in Houston. And after offloading the luggage and taking the children, they were sleeping and they were tired.

We closed the door behind us, and there was a knock within a few minutes at the door. This is what is making us decide that this is the country where we want to raise our children. So there is a knock at the door.

I open the door, and there was an elderly lady standing with two sacks in her hand, brown bags. And I said, yes, ma'am? She said, well, I just saw that you have small children.

You just brought them in. I brought this for them. I am your neighbor Paulette.

She introduced herself. She did not ask us where we have come from, what faith we practice, what culture we are from, what language we speak. just out of the decency and generosity of her heart as the word neighbor, she was so kind to share that generosity with us.

And I spoke after that to Ghazala that the experiences that we had having with the local people with the folks that are coming in our path, this is an exception. We have had lived in Dubai prior to coming to the United States. We have had transactions with people of other countries, other nationalities, other places. But America is the most generous and compassionate nation. Such conversations with children, with Ghazala, made us decide that this would be the place that we will make it home.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: That's great. And Sayu, can you tell us what your thoughts were about America before you got here?

SAYU BHOJWANI: So I have a more contentious relationship with America, although-- you know, so we were living in Belize. And in Belize, my parents experienced, once again, colonization by the British. In fact, Ms. Ghazala and I were talking. Ms. Khan and I were talking on the way here about the fact that her parents during the migration, during the split of the subcontinent, moved from what was then India to what became Pakistan.

And my parents moved the other way. So my parents were born in what is now Pakistan when it was a united India and, as children with their families, crossed that border. And so they had already had the experience of colonization.

And when we arrived in Belize, they were, once again, British subjects. And so I have grown up in this very contentious relationship with colonizers and superpowers and lived in Central America, which, you know, has had a complicated relationship with the United States because we are neighbors. But I will say that, you know, two things.

One is that I had-- my first memory of long term memory of engaging with someone who was American was with my Peace Corps teacher when I was in the fourth grade. And her name was Billie Jo [INAUDIBLE], and she was from Kalamazoo, Michigan. And that was just so fascinating to me, her name and the fact that she was from this place called Kalamazoo.

And we were young girls and boys. And you know how the Peace Corps works. When the teachers come, they're there for a short period of time.

And I have a very vivid memory of engaging with this teacher. And then that happened at different points throughout my education. And we came back and forth to the United States.

But when I moved here as an international student, I didn't imagine that I was going to stay. I thought I was going to come here, learn from the education system, and take it back to Belize.

And I think that my love affair with the United States began soon after my education or perhaps during my education because America, in its best light, represents so much possibility and so much opportunity. And when I was growing up in Belize, you know, there was just not that many options for careers. I grew up in a wonderful and loving but somewhat restricted household as an Indian American. And being in Miami first but then especially in New York I felt like I could be all that I wanted to be. And that really is the gift that America has given to me is the ability to fulfill whatever dream I want, even if that means having to buck against systems.

MATT PORTER: Well, you know, thank you, first of all, for all three of you sharing these stories. There's a quote from President Kennedy in his book A Nation of Immigrants where he says, "everywhere, immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life," which, Sayu, sounds like something you have in your book for your thesis. For all three of you, in your experiences, how have immigrants strengthened the fabric of American life?

SAYU BHOJWANI: One of the things I say is that immigrants are the most optimistic of Americans-- that the very act of moving to the United States, of fighting to continue to be here, is an act of optimism. And it takes a great fortitude to-- I mean, I said that it took me 17 years to become a citizen. And that's not an unusual amount of time, actually.

It's a pretty average amount of time. And I'm an English speaking person who was not-- you know, didn't have to navigate being undocumented. And so if you imagine the number of people who have to wait decades to become citizens, it takes a great deal of optimism and belief in the possibility of America.

And in my work now, I see how immigrants are contributing to a very vibrant civic and political life. There's been a lot of conversation in the 2018 midterms about diversity. But the reality is that when you hear about these firsts-- you know, the first Palestinian-American women in Congress, the first Somali-American woman in Congress, the first Liberian mayor of Montana last year, that didn't happen because our political leaders opened the doors for these folks.

Usually, they've had to really push to get access and power. And I think that there's obviously negative connotations to that. But mostly, I think it's a sign of how strongly we believe in what this democracy has to offer.

MATT PORTER: Khizr or Ghazala, do you have anything to add?

GHAZALA KHAN: I think because immigrants are very powerful and they want to work very hard, they leave themselves, their families, their half of their life back. And when they come here, they have to struggle. And they struggle more than 100% to become someone, to bring everyone together.

So the hardworking thing that is in a human being, they bring that out. And then they work hard. And then I think they bring everyone together. That, in my eyes, is a very strong point for immigrants.

KHIZR KHAN: Just a footnote to what Ghazala is saying-- spirit of immigration is to make life better. That spirit in abundance in a community and a society makes that community that society better. Talking about numbers and professions and all, I give you a small example, and that study was done by Department of Labor in the poorest counties of the United States. In those counties, 40% of the medical professionals are first generation immigrants.


KHIZR KHAN: That is a service. That is service to the nation. Poorest counties, such a majority number of immigrant physicians, nurses, and other staff, first generation immigrants.

That is one example. Let's take example of the inventions and creations. If you go to Silicon Valley, you will see abundance of the first generation immigrants-- so busy.

Two reasons-- one, not only that they're innovators, they're entrepreneurs, and they are immigrants, but the opportunity that this system offers them, the encouragement that this system offers them, there is no other country that protects your invention, your creation, as strongly as United States does. So it works both ways. Immigrants work hard, but then there is a protection for them-- meaning that if you invent something, if you create something, it is fully protected, and the entire legal system protects that. So it is that contribution, that combination, that has benefited this nation, has made it a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. And it continues to be, current moment notwithstanding, we continue to be and we remain beacon of hope for the rest of the world.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Thank you all so much. We appreciate having you all here and talking with us. We wish we had hours to talk about everything that we could talk about. We're going to remind our listeners to check out everyone's books.

Khizr's book is American Family. Sayu's is People Like Us-- the New Wave of Candidates Knocking at Democracy's Door. Thank you all.

KHIZR KHAN: Thank you.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: So that was another amazing interview. It was so interesting to hear the different experiences both Sayu and the Khans had. I mean, Khizr and Ghazala talking about their neighbor who came over knowing that they had children with them and trying to be as welcoming as possible, I think it really-- when reading, thinking about A Nation of Immigrants, it's definitely something that JFK was, like, really inspired by and knew that welcoming immigrants was sort of the best that Americans can offer to one another.

MATT PORTER: Yeah, and you know, I think Khizr made another good point at the end of his interview that so many immigrants play huge roles in our society. He mentioned that many first generation immigrants are actually doctors and nurses in rural areas or low income areas. But just the vast amount of roles that they play in our country adding to its-- adding to the economy, to the engine, and everything is pretty important.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: Yeah, and after a certain point, it becomes hard because it is so-- immigrant work and contributions are so important and valuable to the work or how this country runs that it's impossible to kind of just separate it out. It's all just-- we're all here together just trying to make this country better and live our lives and make this a better place for people who come after us.

MATT PORTER: Absolutely. Absolutely. And we hope you have enjoyed this week's episode, and thank you for listening to "JFK 35." Visit our podcast page at jfklibrary.org/jfk35, where we'll have some photos of our guests from the nation of immigrants event and also some documents from our archives on immigration.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: And if you have questions or story ideas, email us at jfk35pod@jfkfoundation.org or tweet at us @jfklibrary using the hashtag #jfk35. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

MATT PORTER: And if you liked what you heard today, please consider subscribing to our podcast wherever you get your podcasts or leaving us a review. Or better yet, tell someone you know to listen.

JAMIE RICHARDSON: And this ends our fall season. If you missed any of the episodes, you can go back and check them out. We'll be back in early 2019 to bring you our spring season. Have a happy new year, everyone.