by Jonathan Levin
Billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell said anti-immigration sentiment jeopardizes the future of the U.S.
“The United States has been the leader in the world for 200 years because it’s had a very aggressive immigration policy,” Zell, 75, said Thursday at the annual TIGER 21 conference in Boca Raton, Florida. “I think that this current period of anti-immigration is very dangerous to the future of our country.”
President Donald Trump’s executive order last week restricting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries spurred protests around the country, criticism from world leaders and turmoil at airports where international travelers tried to enter the U.S. Lawsuits have been filed over the order, and the legality of Trump’s action is due to be tested in U.S. district courts.
Zell’s comments drew applause from the audience of high-net-worth individuals. He said some in the U.S. felt unreasonably entitled, and troubled by change, because they “got here first.” Zell noted that his parents immigrated to the U.S. in May 1941, and he was born in September of the same year.