This also appears to be an issue close to President Obama's heart. As we've previously reported, he has spoken of it before. And, as he has done in the past, he once again used inaccurate and misleading examples to illustrate immigrants' role in the nation's innovation and economic vitality.
"Look," the President said during the debate, "when we think about immigration, we have to understand there are folks all around the world who still see America as the land of promise. And they provide us energy, and they provide us innovation." Thus far the statement is entirely true. "And," he continued, " they start companies like Intel and Google, and we want to encourage that." Here he departs from accuracy.
Google's founders are Larry Page, born in East Lansing, Michigan, and Sergei Brin, who was brought to the United States from his native Soviet Union by his parents at the age of 6. Brin attended American public schools, the University of Maryland, and Stanford University. So, though indubitably foreign born, presumably no one was thinking of him, at 6 years old, as an engine of economic growth. And, like Grove, he was educated in the United States.
This bit of fact-checking isn't meant to denigrate in any way the many foreign-born technological innovators who have participated in building successful American companies (including, as I've mentioned on another occasion, my own father). It's just a matter of making sure that discussion of a complex issue proceeds on the basis of facts rather than of oft-repeated errors.