Advocates for information-technology companies have allied with progressive and Hispanic groups to win a broad overhaul of immigration law, but they are also keeping open the option of pursuing a narrow set of tech-friendly legal changes in the next Congress.
"I'm happy to be part of comprehensive reform, and I'm happy to be part of a focused bill," said Brad Feld, a Colorado-based venture capitalist who is pushing to establish a Startup Visa program that would grant green cards to high-tech entrepreneurs. Feld lobbied Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., to add the proposal to an immigration bill drafted by Rep. Luis Gutierrez., D-Ill.
Published in the Information Technology Industry Council
Fixing the border to solve immigration problems without addressing other issues is a little like solving just one side of a puzzle, an immigration policy expert said yesterday.
“You fix one side of a Rubik’s Cube, but the rest is a mess,” Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, said.
Giovagnoli spoke at the ninth annual Cambio de Colores conference in Columbia. The three-day event focuses on Hispanics and immigrants in Midwestern communities and is co-sponsored by the University of Missouri System, MU, MU Extension and the Cambio Center.
Guillermo Cantor is the Senior Policy Analyst at the Immigration Policy Center, where he leads the Center’s research efforts. He also currently teaches courses on immigration and introductory sociology at Georgetown University. He has authored several publications on immigrant incorporation in the United States and Argentina. Prior to joining the American Immigration Council, Mr. Cantor served as an investigator on issues related to immigration at Argentina’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Research and as a professor at the National University of Rosario and the National University of Entre Ríos. Throughout his career, Mr. Cantor received multiple distinctions including a Fulbright Fellowship, the Urban Institute's Emerging Scholar Award, and the International Development Research Center's Research Award. Mr. Cantor holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Wendy Feliz is the Communications Director at the American Immigration Council. Previously, she worked as a consultant for New America Media, a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic news service and as a communications officer at the Open Society Institute’s DC policy office, where she helped shape their communications and media strategy. Previous to that she was the communications and grants manager at WAMU 88.5 FM, the NPR affiliate in Washington D.C. She is currently an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University where she teaches a course in advocacy communications. Wendy holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the New School University and an M.A. in Public Communication from American University.
"Migrants come here for a reason," says Michele Waslin, a senior policy analyst at the Immigration Policy Center. "They will continue to exist even if their life is made more difficult for them in the U.S. They have to weigh their lives here with their lives back home."
You don't have to be an evangelical Christian to realize that immigration reform is in the U.S.'s self-interest. According to a report earlier this year from the Campaign for American Progress and the American Immigration Council, an amnesty program affecting the more than 11 million undocumented people in the United States would add $1.5 trillion to the GDP over a decade. That's a lot more folks generating government revenue and keeping U.S. businesses afloat.
Robin Templeton of GritTv and Seth Hoy of AlterNet jumped on the issue this week. Both argue that, in far too many cases, the citizenship of an immigrant's children has little bearing on whether or not she stays in the country, let alone become a U.S. citizen.