This week on ABC’s Nashville, viewers were treated to the musical debut of the daughters of country star Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton). Actual sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella play Jaymes’s daughters Maddie and Daphne Conrad. And on the show’s third episode, they sing a song together at a school talent show, to rave reviews. Take a look:
And just who are these darling, talented girls singing their hearts out in the heartland of America? Why, it turns out they’re … Canadian. But you’ve got to go to the proud Canadian media to find out.
Are there no little American girls who could play a country singer’s daughters? They’re taking our jobs! I grew up a hundred miles from Nashville. They may be taking jobs from my own relatives. (I made the same point back in 2007 about baseball player Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was clearly taking a job in the major leagues that an American could fill.)
Seriously, of course, we all benefit from free trade and liberal immigration rules. Hollywood has been enhanced by Canadians Mary Pickford, William Shatner, Jim Carrey, Justin Bieber, and James Cameron. We all benefit from companies like Google, Intel, Yahoo!, eBay, Netgear, and YouTube, all started at least in part by immigrants.
Though I do wonder about this from the Toronto Star:
Only one obstacle remained: the girls needed a green card. As Canadian citizens, they were still prohibited from working in the U.S.
“They had the parts for Nashville already,” says Marylynne. “But in order to get their visas, they needed to get press. So we needed to get something in the local papers or local TV in Whitby or Oshawa, anything, to get anybody to say anything about them, so we could put it in the application for their visas.”
To that end, she uploaded a new video, a rerecording of a song that the girls had performed at a local talent show, an a capella cover of “Call Your Girlfriend.”
The clip exploded, “literally overnight,” marvels Marylynne. “It went so viral so fast, they got all the press they needed … and it happened all in one day. We posted the video on May 30, at about 2 o’clock in the morning, and the next day we were on Good Morning America in New York.”
The Star didn’t finish the story. Did the girls get their green cards? Presumably. Did media attention help? That’s the implication. Does the INS deliver green cards faster to popular celebrities? You’d have to ask them.
Immigration rules should apply equally to everyone. But it’s good to keep America welcoming talent from all over the world.