While immigration to the US remains a topic of debate, it cannot be denied that many of the nation's best moments would not be possible without the contributions of immigrants.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
Here are just a few foreign-born Americans who have permanently changed the nation.
Madeleine Korbel Albright is the former US Secretary of State. Albright was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, (now the Czech Republic). When she was a child, her family fled the Nazi invasion and settled in the US.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Albright became a US citizen in 1957. In 1996, she made history when President Bill Clinton appointed her as the US secretary of state. She was the first woman to hold this position.
Isabel Allende is an author and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. She was born in Lima, Peru, and spent most of her childhood living in Chile.
JAN E. CARLSSON/AFP/Getty Images
Allende gained fame in Chile as co-founder of "Paula," the first feminist magazine in the country. Her first novel, “The House of the Spirits,” helped launch her career as a novelist.
FELIPE AMILIBIA/AFP/Getty Images
Sergey Brin is the co-founder of Google, the most visited website in the world. Brin was born in Moscow, Russia.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/File
Brin became a billionaire in 2004 following the initial public offering of Google. In 2009, Forbes named Brin and his Google co-founder, Larry Page, among the most powerful people in the world.
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
Bob Hope, an acclaimed comedian and actor, was born in Well Hall, England.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
He hosted the Oscars 16 times, entertained 11 US Presidents and authored 12 books. In 2003, he died in Los Angeles.
JOE RUSTAN/AFP/Getty Images
Ieoh Ming Pei, commonly known as I.M. Pei, is a renowned architect. He was born in Guangzhou, China and earned his master's degree in architecture from Harvard University.
Dario Cantatore/Getty Images
Pei designed the John F. Kennedy presidential library. His other designs include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. He died in 2019 at age 102.
Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images
Dikembe Mutombo, a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a retired NBA star and UNICEF global ambassador.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Known as one of the greatest NBA players to never win a championship, Mutombo won the league’s defensive player of the year award four times and played in eight All Star games.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images