Obama Cites Intel, Instagram As Examples Of Immigrant-Powered Companies

Making his pitch for immigration reform Tuesday in Las Vegas, President Barack Obama invoked Intel and Instagram as examples of companies founded by immigrants who “studied here and stayed here.” 

Obama expressed his support for policies that make it easier for immigrants studying in the United States to attain citizenship.

“Right now, there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities. They are earning degrees in the fields of the future, like engineering and computer science. But once they finish school, once they earn that diploma, there is a good chance they will have to leave our country. Think about that. Intel was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and stayed here. Instagram was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here. Right now in one of those classrooms, there is a student wrestling with how to turn their big idea, their Intel or Instagram, into a big business. We are giving them the skills to figure that out, but then we are going to turn around and tell them to start the business and create those jobs in China, or India, or Mexico, or someplace else. That is not how you grow new industries in America. That is how you give new industries to our competitors. That is why we need comprehensive immigration reform.”

Obama was referring to former Intel CEO Andrew Grove and Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger.


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.