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Noah Smith

Middle Eastern Immigrants Make the U.S. Stronger

Like other newcomers before them, they quickly become Americans despite social backlash.
They're Americans too.

They're Americans too.

Photographer: Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

A little more than one week ago, Stanford University mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani died at the age of 40 after a battle with breast cancer. In that short lifetime, she accomplished more than most of us ever will. Mirzakhani was one of the world’s greatest mathematicians -- a recipient of the Fields Medal, mathematics’ highest honor.

Mirzakhani’s career was a triumph for the U.S. university system and American scientific prowess. But Mirzakhani was born and raised in Iran. She’s living proof of the advantage immigration gives the U.S.