Here are the latest news stories in the fight for immigration reform.
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You may know Joe Green as the cofounder of tech platforms Causes and NationBuilder, or you may know him as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard roommate. He’s also an investor in Asana and an entrepreneur-in-residence for Andreessen Horowitz. But Green’s latest project is a different sort of startup. Earlier this year, Green cofounded FWD.us, an organization started by key leaders in the tech community to promote policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy—including comprehensive immigration reform.
What do computer programming and immigration reform have in common? Just ask Luis Aguilar of Falls Church, Virginia. They are two of the topics about which he is passionate—and he’s turning passion into action. Aguilar was a member of the winning team at last month’s FWD.us DREAMer Hackathon in Silicon Valley, where his team Push4Reform coded their way to a prototype app that gives users information about their members of Congress, where they stand on immigration reform, and how to contact them.
Facebook CEO and FWD.us founder Mark Zuckerberg on immigration.
Drawer and legal designer Margaret Hagan participated in the Fwd.us DREAMer Hackathon this week and worked with DREAMers to find ways to show what that system looks like for individuals trying to navigate the immigration system. Her goal was to “develop new ways to show how many breakpoints and fail points the immigration system has.”
NBC Bay Area:
Computer geeks dedicated to figuring out the nation's complicated and controversial immigration problem joined tech luminaries on Thursday as part of a "DREAMer Hackathon" at LinkedIn headquarters in Silicon Valley. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's political action committee, FWD.us, sponsored the 25-hour event in Mountain View, Calif., so that 20 undocumented DREAMers from across the country could work with with top product designers, engineers, and other hackers to work on prototypes for advocacy tools to help advance meaningful immigration reform.
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg brought undocumented immigrants to Silicon Valley to "hack" for immigration reform.
Fox News Latino:
On Wednesday, the two men will join forces in Silicon Valley, where Zuckerberg is hosting a hackathon in which the Facebook chief executive, as well as other kings of the Internet – Dropbox’s Drew Houston, Groupon founder Andrew Mason and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman – will work with undocumented high-tech wiz kids on building tools to help immigrants and the push for immigration reform.
The Mark Zuckerberg-funded issues advocacy group FWD.us is launching a new round of ads with a decidedly different tone than past spots on immigration reform, using quotes from President Barack Obama and House leadership to highlight a growing frustration with legislative delays.
One week after House Speaker John Boehner repeated his vow to never hold a vote on the Senate's immigration reform bill, a public advocacy group backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says it's launching a new ad campaign urging congressional leaders to take action on the issue.
The advocacy group backed by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is launching a new round of ads aimed at keeping the pressure on Congress to pass immigration reform. The ads from Silicon Valley’s FWD.us — backed by executives from Google, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, Instagram and Dropbox — highlight what the groups says is bipartisan support for swift movement on legislation.
NY Daily News:
Vargas and 19 other undocumented immigrant techies are planning to code for 24 hours straight next week at a hackathon hosted by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s lobbying group FWD.us. Divided into groups of four, the young immigrants will get advice from tech giants like Zuckerberg, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Groupon founder Andrew Mason to come up with tech products that help promote immigration reform.
A Stanford computer science graduate and son of an Indian immigrant, [Darius] Contractor was the VP of Engineering for Bebo from 2006 to 2009, where he helped grow daily page views from 100 million to 350 million before it sold to AOL for $850 million. Now he’ll be working for FWD.us, a bi-partisan lobbying group funded by Silicon Valley moguls that aims to create a path to citizenship for immigrants and expand the H-1B Visa program.
The Huffington Post:
Many immigration advocates have argued that acting on immigration may boost both parties by showing that Congress can still overcome gridlock and get something done. The poll indicated that likely voters in the 20 congressional districts want to see movement on immigration, with 70 percent saying it is "very important" to deal with the issue and another 23 percent saying it is "somewhat important." A strong majority -- 77 percent -- said they would prefer even an imperfect solution to nothing at all.
Erick Garcia said he still can’t believe he is one of the 20 Dreamers who will be participating later this month in a hackathon hosted by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s advocacy group FWD.us. Garcia, who holds a computer systems engineering degree from Arizona State University, and the other Dreamers will team up for two days with top engineers and designers to come up with “prototypes of products to aid the immigration reform movement,” FWD.us president and founder Joe Green said in a blog post.
A new poll being released later Thursday could send a warning to politicians nationwide: Oppose immigration reform at your peril. The results from the survey, sponsored by a trio of GOP-friendly groups and provided to POLITICO in advance, indicate that voters will be warmer toward politicians who favor immigration reform, an effort that faces an uphill battle in the Republican-led House.
Center for American Progress:
On June 27, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill, S. 744, and created an opportunity to dramatically improve the fiscal and economic health of our country. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, has estimated that S. 744 would reduce our deficit by $135 billion over the first 10 years, generate millions of new jobs, and boost our economy. But while our economy stands to gain significantly from fixing our broken immigration system, each day the House fails to pass immigration reform is another day of missed economic opportunities.
The Wall Street Journal:
My story has a happy ending: I finally became a U.S. citizen in April. But it also shows how easy it is to lose skilled talent to other countries. I chose to stay and put up with the restrictions because there is nowhere better to build a tech company. But many young, educated and ambitious friends of mine decided it was too difficult here, especially when countries like Canada and United Kingdom welcomed their expertise.
Bay Area News Group:
Several Bay Area DREAMers are among the 20 who’ve been invited to join a hackathon later this month organized by Fwd.us, the lobbying group launched earlier this year by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley giants. They’ll work next to some of the region’s top engineers and designers during the event Nov. 20-21 at LinkedIn’s Mountain View headquarters, says Fwd.us founder and president Joe Green.
The Columbus Dispatch:
The reasons why a group of conservative Ohioans came to the nation’s capital this week to lobby for comprehensive immigration reform might have been as diverse as the U.S. immigrant population itself. They came to Capitol Hill at a crucial time: Congress will be here for only about three more weeks, and a Senate bill addressing immigration that passed in June has stalled.
The Washington Post:
We now have three House Republicans who have signed on to the House Dem comprehensive immigration reform bill, putting immigration reform officially back in the “undead” category. GOP Rep. David Valadao of California is officially on board with the bipartisan proposal.
The political advocacy group co-founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched a lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill Tuesday to push House Republicans to act on immigration reform. Zuckerberg’s group, FWD.us, joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bibles Badges and Business and other pro-immigration groups to sponsor a day-long trip aimed at pressuring House Republicans to bring immigration legislation to the floor for a vote. More than 80 representatives from the tech community across the country met with House Republican members from their home states on Tuesday to make the case for immigration reform.
More than 600 business, law enforcement, religious and political leaders from throughout the nation converged on Capitol Hill Tuesday to try to persuade House Republicans to pass an immigration overhaul this year.
Amid the debate over potentially the biggest reform of immigration law in 50 years, American communities struggling with decades of population loss and economic decline are being revitalized by newcomers. The economic contribution of immigrants in high-skilled fields is relatively well known, but less acknowledged are the contributions that blue-collar immigrants play in revitalizing depressed communities and economies, both as manual laborers and small-business entrepreneurs.
The New York Times:
With immigration re-emerging as the topic of focus in Washington, an unusual coalition of business executives, Republican Party activists and evangelical leaders will descend on Capitol Hill early next week to pressure House Republicans to pass their own legislation. The debate threatens to create another schism in the Republican Party and to further alienate a major source of campaign contributions; several corporate executives interviewed this week said they were considering withholding donations from lawmakers who get in the way.
The Wall Street Journal:
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg‘s political-advocacy group is growing its ranks of high-profile backers following the departure of two early, well-known supporters. AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong and venture-capital pioneer Dick Kramlich are the latest celebrity donors to FWD.us, co-founder and president Joe Green said in an interview. Zuckerberg helped form the nonprofit earlier this year to champion immigration reform and other policies affecting the technology industry.
The New York Times:
In a national study published last month, Jacob L. Vigdor, an economics professor at Duke University, found that over the last four decades, immigrants helped preserve and in some cases add manufacturing jobs in cities where they settled, sustaining employment for Americans. They also added to local housing values. For every thousand immigrants who moved into a county, 270 Americans moved in after them, Mr. Vigdor found.
The Associated Press:
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, has been discussing possible legal status for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. He's also been working with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a fellow Virginia Republican, on a bill offering citizenship to immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children. Reps. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and Ted Poe, R-Texas, are working on a plan to create a visa program allowing more lower-skilled workers into the country. Goodlatte and the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, hold out hopes for floor action by late October on a series of immigration bills that already have passed their committees.
The Denver Post:
In the past week, six university and college presidents and a chancellor sent a joint letter to Colorado's congressional delegation stressing the importance of immigration reform to the growth of institutions of higher learning and to the state's economy overall.
That was followed by representatives of dozens of churches, agricultural associations, chambers and municipalities, including Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, speaking out on the need for reform in press conferences around the state.
The Washington Post:
House Republicans intensified their outreach to Latino groups last week, offering renewed pledges that the House will deal with immigration reform this year. The effort has revived hope among reform advocates that a bipartisan deal can be reached to address the fate of the nation’s 11 million undocumented workers and students… they were encouraged by signals from key GOP leaders that the House is willing to move forward on legislation that could produce a breakthrough in the stalled negotiations. Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said Thursday that his panel is working on four new pieces of legislation dealing with border-control laws. He did not disclose details but emphasized the need to resolve the status of people living in the country illegally.
The Associated Press:
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday pledged action on immigration overhaul legislation even as most of the attention on Capitol Hill is focused on fights over the budget and debt. Rep. Bob Goodlatte said the immigration issue needs to be solved and work is happening behind the scenes toward that goal… Goodlatte said he'd like to see the full House begin voting on the committee-passed bills next month… Goodlatte pledged that the House approach would address the major problems of the immigration system — enforcement and security; legal immigration; and the status of the millions living in the country illegally.
The Wall Street Journal:
All of this is a reminder of the urgent need for action on comprehensive immigration reform, even as Congress also deals with national security and fiscal policy. For while immigration is often debated in the U.S. as a humanitarian matter, or a political matter, or a legal matter (and it is all those things), our global competitors see it for what it is: a critical economic matter in a global race for talent, job creation and innovation… Canada, Australia, Germany, China and a growing list of our global competitors are stepping up their game to win the global battle for talent—and every day, they are closing the gap. It's time for the House to act.
New York Daily News:
Cardinal Dolan: Congress must ensure that America remains a welcoming nation
The Bellingham Herald:
Prominent business leaders and Republicans held a forum in Nashville on Wednesday to build support for immigration reform among the public and members of Congress.
The Washington Post:
GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama delivered a long and remarkable speech to his constituents in which he directly took on not only King, but Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, another anti-reform diehard — and made a faith-based and compassionate argument for reform. Bachus represents a district that as of last year was the most Republican in the country, and in 2012 he faced a Tea Party primary that was partly about immigration.
Idaho businesses and trade organizations are seeking immigration reform as a way to keep needed workers, fill jobs and offer security to hard-working families who lack legal status. Workers without legal residency pack an economic punch at markets, malls and purveyors of services and goods large and small. But they generally can’t buy houses, invest their money or make other transactions that require proof of legal residency. “There’s a lot of people standing there and wanting to buy and do a lot of things, but they can’t because they don’t have the right documentation,” said Boise financial adviser Calvin Gates, who advocates granting a path to citizenship for workers who now live in the legal shadows. “Home purchases, investing in the markets - those are things that grow the economy.“Immigrants are more than twice as likely as U.S.-born citizens to start a small business,” Gates said, echoing the ratio cited by Karen Mills, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “That means immigrants are making jobs, not taking them.”
The Washington Post:
The Evangelical Immigration Table launched a new round of ads in 56 congressional districts across 14 states, an effort that comes as Congress heads into the second half of its five-week summer recess. The ads, featuring local pastors, will be broadcast primarily on Christian radio stations over the next two weeks at a cost of $400,000, organizers said. They will air in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin
The Senate’s immigration bill would add nearly 14,000 new jobs on average in each congressional district over the next decade, according to a new report… District-by-district data is available through this web tool. No district would see fewer than 7,000 jobs created by 2023, and an average of 13,992 new jobs would be created in each. The figures were compiled using data from a Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) study of economic data and new worker visas and a Congressional Budget Office report on the impact of the Senate bill.
The Washington Post:
Congressional leaders and political insiders say that the robust and passionate evangelical campaign for immigration reform may be the game changer that tips the scales and pushes reform across the finish line.
The Washington Post:
Having even a few House Republicans going all the way to the point where they’re embracing the pathway in the Senate bill in these terms — as Heck does above — can only help, and raises the possibility that the debate may be edging in reform’s direction.
Sanghvi, who went on to become Facebook's first female engineer, says the uncertainties that come with worker visas affect the immigrant worker's professional and personal life.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took his first step on the national political stage Monday night when he joined publicly with tech leaders, civil rights activists and undocumented immigrants to call for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's immigration policies - an issue he said touches not just Silicon Valley but "the whole country."
The Facebook CEO will speak publicly for the first time about comprehensive immigration reform at a screening of Documented.
Little Rock business and education leaders gathered at City Hall on Monday to talk about immigration issues on a local level with a focus on jobs… “I asked people to raise their hands if they’d talked to their congressmen about the need for immigration reform,” said Stodola, who is also co-chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Comprehensive Immigration Reform task force. “Nearly every hand in the room went up. That’s a sign to me that this is an issue we must discuss and that moving swiftly would be a benefit to our local economy on many levels.”
The State (SC):
"This is the only place on earth where we protect the pursuit of happiness in our constitution,” Montalvo said. “Why on earth would we turn our backs on the people who want to give us their very best? It’s not only the right thing to do, but it makes good economic sense."
Today FWD.us sent emails to those who’d previously signed up on its site asking them to call their senators and state their preference for immigration reform.
FWD.us, the political advocacy group led by Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is taking the phrase, “Call your congressman,” and putting its own high-tech stamp behind it.
New Hampshire Union Leader:
The Gang of Eight bill increases the number of legal, skilled immigrants, helping high-tech employers such as Merrimack’s GT Advanced Technologies hire the engineers they need to grow our economy and create jobs for other Americans. It re-establishes a guest worker program that will benefit New Hampshire apple growers and ski areas that depend on seasonal laborers. And it provides provisional legal status — but not necessarily citizenship — to 11 million undocumented people, thousands of whom live among us as neighbors.
In a letter being released Thursday, more than 110 economists urged Hill leadership to enact comprehensive immigration reform, portraying it as a necessity to improve the country’s fiscal outlook.
On Tuesday, a Senate committee passed an immigration reform bill that would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. The bill would also strengthen border security. It now goes to the full Senate for a vote. The provisions in the bill are popular with the public.
An integral part of our nation’s security is our legal immigration system, which is currently a broken relic of the past. We must address this issue for the safety and security of every American.
Wall Street Journal:
The Senate immigration bill will help improve Social Security’s long-term solvency and reduce the number of immigrants entering the U.S. illegally, according to a Social Security Administration analysis.
Washington Post Op-ed:
“To lead the world in this new economy, we need the most talented and hardest-working people. We need to train and attract the best. We need those middle-school students to be tomorrow’s leaders.”
"Leaders from Facebook, Google, and other tech giants today announced they’re banding together to form a political advocacy group called FWD.us, designed to promote policies that will keep the American workforce competitive. The bipartisan group’s first priority is pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, but it will also support education reform and scientific research."
“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley leaders have formally launched a political group aimed at revamping immigration policy, boosting education and encouraging investment in scientific research.”
“FWD.us, which is focused on promoting bipartisan policies to improve the U.S. "knowledge economy," includes technology executives such as Zuckerberg and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, and venture capitalists John Doerr, Reid Hoffman and Jim Breyer. The group's introduction comes as legislators in Congress are working to draft legislation to reform the country's immigration system."
Wall Street Journal
“The group is supported by more than two dozen prominent technology leaders, including a circle of 11 founders made up of Mr. Zuckerberg and Joe Green, Mr. Zuckerberg’s former Harvard University roommate who will now serve as president of Fwd.us. It also includes Aditya Agarwal, vice president of engineering at Dropbox Inc., Jim Breyer a partner at Accel Partners, Matt Cohler a general partner at Benchmark Capital, Ron Conway, a prominent early stage technology investor, John Doerr a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn Inc., Drew Houston CEO of DropBox Inc., Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a managing partner at The Social+Capital Partnership and Ruchi Sanghvi, vice president of operations at Dropbox Inc.”