Although its tone is unfair and though it’s subject has fallen right into lock-step with the enemies—yes, “enemies” is fair at this point—of the President and the democracy he represents—the New York Times has a revealing story about the kind of immigrant the nation should welcome and pronounce exemplars for the process.
Nasrin Sheykhi is a 29-year-old Muslim woman who was able to come to the U.S. despite the travel ban because she earned what is known informally as an “Einstein visa,” the EB-1A visa, the government will issue to foreign citizens have “extraordinary ability” in such fields as science, education and the arts, and who want to come here. Sheykhi is a political cartoonist and satirical artist, and before her green card was dry, began mocking President Trump and insulting Melania. I don’t think that’s a particularly shrewd course from a supply and demand perspective, but never mind: she’s welcome here, and enhances the nation, as does any immigrant who come legally and has something to contribute.
It is interesting that the so-called travel ban didn’t stop Sheykhi , which is as it should be. From the Times story:
As a student, she acquired a following outside Iran thanks to social media and competitions in other countries that she entered online. When she applied for the EB-1A, her lawyer, Joseph E. Best, submitted 700 pages of material, including testimonials from other artists. Among them was one from Steve Brodner, whose work has appeared in major publications since the 1970s and who has taught at the School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Of Sheykhi, he said, “There has never been a portraitist who has so successfully combined collage and caricature in the interest of commentary.”
Illustrator Jason Seiler said he had been so impressed that he showed her work to art directors at The New Yorker. “The business I am in is very competitive, so I rarely will do something like that,” he said.
Her lawyer, Best, said he had argued that her recognition beyond Iran “and the potential political value of her resisting the theocratic interests of the government in Iran” were in the United States’ national interest.
Among her U.S.-produced works is a Trump caricature , “Donald Trump No. 4.” It consists of a tiny image surrounded by a big white frame.
[The Times notes that her Janis Joplin painting is much larger. “She was more important,” Sheykhi told the them. A Sixties rocker who killed herself with booze and drugs before she was 30, whose iconic hit was written by someone else, and whom the average American under 40 would be challenged to name? Sure she was. Well, if Sheykhi is as smart as we think she is, she’ll learn. Unlike the people who have lived here all their lives, she has an excuse for making silly statements like that .]
In explaining her Trump piece, she says that a president should be as big as the frame, and that the frame symbolizes the White House. “He is not matched by the place where he is as president,” she said.
Somebody pull her aside and gently explain that when a nation makes your life and future infinitely better, the proper words for the leader of that nation is, “Thank you.”