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Maeve Higgins: Why Is The 'Good Immigrant' Narrative Dangerous?

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Migration

Irish comedian Maeve Higgins moved to the U.S. with a visa for artists with "extraordinary abilities." But the myth of the "good immigrant," she says, perpetuates harm and discrimination.

About Maeve Higgins

Maeve Higgins is an Irish comedian and the host of Maeve in America: Immigration podcast, featuring conversations with immigrants across the United States. She is currently based in New York City.

Higgins also wrote an autobiographic novel, Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl from Somewhere Else, and a book of essays titled We Have A Good Time, Don't We?. Her opinion pieces have also been featured on The New York Times and The Irish Times.

She studied photography at St. Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill in Ireland.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by Janet W. Lee and edited by Maria Paz Gutierrez. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Janet W. Lee
[Copyright 2024 NPR]