In New Poll, 90% of Americans Support Pathway to Citizenship, an All-Time High

Posted by FWD.us on 03/17/2017

New Poll Finds All-Time High Support for a Pathway to Citizenship for Undocumented

90% of all Americans and 87% of Republicans favor legalization over mass deportation

Today, CNN/ORC released a poll showing that 90% of all Americans — an all-time high — support establishing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have been in this country for a number of years, hold a job, speak English, and are willing to pay any back taxes that they owe. The poll found strong overwhelming for a pathway to citizenship across the political spectrum showing that 87% of Republicans and 89% of Independents agree with this approach. The poll clearly indicates growing support for this approach, showing an increase in the percentage of Americans who believe in pursuing a pathway to citizenship up from a similar CNN poll from September 2016, which found that 88% of Americans held this view.

Additionally, the poll found that Americans strongly oppose efforts to deport all undocumented immigrants currently living in the country:

  • 71% of all Americans oppose mass deportation, including 55% of Republicans and 71% of Independents – an increase from a September 2016 CNN poll that found 66% of Americans oppose mass deportation.

  • Independents represented the majority of this opinion change, shifting from 66% opposed in Sept. to 71% who say they are opposed today.

FWD.us Taps Former White House Official Peter Boogaard to Drive Communications Strategy

Posted on 03/10/2017

Washington, DC — FWD.us today announced that former White House and National Security Council Spokesman and Department of Homeland Security Deputy Assistant Secretary Peter Boogaard would join the senior staff as Communications Director.

Peter’s hire adds a seasoned communications voice to FWD.us’ growing bipartisan team. His expertise in immigration policy will add considerable strength to the organization’s efforts to revitalize the broken immigration system.

Prior to FWD.us, Peter served as Director of Communications and Assistant Press Secretary at the White House, where he held a dual role with the National Security Office and White House Press Office. There, he focused on a range of domestic security issues, including immigration and border security, refugee policy, disaster response, and Western Hemisphere affairs including Central American migration and Cuba policy. Peter previously worked for the Department of Homeland Security, where he served as Press Secretary and ultimately Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. He began his career on Capitol Hill as Press Secretary for U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper.

“Peter’s wealth of knowledge about the immigration system and his credibility in the national media market will be a tremendous asset for our bipartisan organization,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “We’re excited to leverage his experience as a homeland security expert as we work with members of both parties to find commonsense solutions on immigration and criminal justice reform.”

A nationally-recognized communications expert, Peter will continue to be at the center of immigration reform efforts as a senior staffer at FWD.us.

FWD.us has built an incredibly talented team focused on finding commonsense, bipartisan solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our nation,” said Peter Boogaard. “FWD.us is an example of Democrats and Republicans looking past the partisanship that has so often defined our politics and, instead, working together to make our country safer, stronger, and more competitive. I’m excited to continue fighting for immigration reform and criminal justice reform, and working to ensure the American Dream is achievable in the 21st century.”

FWD.us Statement on Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act

Posted on 03/10/2017

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, a group of Republican lawmakers introduced the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, which allows hardworking young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. prior to 2010 as minors to adjust their status if they can meet certain educational or military requirements, and pass a background check.

Original co-sponsors of the RAC Act include U.S. Representatives Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Mike Coffman (CO-6), Jeff Denham (CA-19), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Mark Amodei (NV-2), Jenniffer González Colón (PR), and David Valadao (CA-21).

Following the introduction of the RAC Act, FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement:

“We want to thank Congressman Curbelo for once again fighting to fix our broken immigration system. He knows how important this is to families in South Florida and across the nation. Dreamers who came to this country as children are part of our communities and shouldn’t be kept in fear of deportation. While this legislation is a step in the right direction, this is only one area of several that needs to be reformed.  Our economy and safety will continue to suffer until we modernize our outdated legal immigration system, secure the border and create a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 11 million law-abiding undocumented immigrants who currently live in the United States.”

FWD.us Calls on Congress to Create American Jobs by Reforming U.S. High-Skilled Immigration System

Posted by FWD.us on 03/03/2017

FWD.us Innovation Councils Release Letter Calling on Smart Reforms to Grow the Economy, Boost Wages and Innovation, Protect American Workers

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, as the H-1B visa filing period opens for 2017, FWD.us called on Congress to reform our nation’s badly outdated high-skilled immigration system to create American jobs while protecting American workers. FWD.us President Todd Schulte called for significant reforms to boost the economy and expand avenues for the best and the brightest talent from across the globe, including foreign students and entrepreneurs, to come to the U.S. to create jobs and spur innovation.

“With a visa system over fifty years old and a high-skilled system that has not been substantially updated in over a quarter-century, our broken immigration system is long overdue for reform that will unleash entrepreneurship and boost the American economy,” said Schulte. “Highly-skilled immigrants create new American jobs, raise wages for native-born workers, and contribute enormously to growing our economy. We need to expand the number of H-1B visas offered while reforming the visa to crack down on bad actors, eliminate the green card backlog to help high-skilled immigrants become citizens, and create a startup visa in order to make our country more competitive in the modern global economy.”

FWD.us has unveiled a new web resource, “Best, Brightest and Stuck,” to highlight the economic impacts of our broken and outdated high skilled immigration system. FWD.us has long advocated for policy recommendations that will drive economic growth and strengthen the American middle class, including the creation of a startup visa so that skilled entrepreneurs can continue creating jobs for native-born American workers, expanding the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program so our country can harness the talent of international students who graduate from American universities, and both reforming and expanding the H-1B visa to fill STEM labor shortages in rapidly-growing industries while protecting American workers from potential misuses.

Last year’s H-1B visa application period saw a record 236,000 applications from U.S. employers for 85,000 available visas that would allow highly-skilled individuals to come here and create jobs. In fact, 2016 marked the fourth year in a row that the application window closed less than a week after the H-1B visa cap was met.

This year, the H-1B visa application filing period is expected to close again after several days, highlighting the urgent need to modernize our badly broken immigration system. Congress’ failure to update our high-skilled immigration system for decades has forced entrepreneurs and U.S. companies to try and create jobs in a pre-Cold War framework. Misuses of the H-1B visa underscore FWD.us’ strong, vocal support for reforms that would curtail these misuses and make the visa more effective for both American workers and U.S. employers.

Additionally, members of FWD.us Innovation Councils, including tech entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the country, today sent a letter to members of Congress calling for significant reforms that would spur innovation and grow the economy.

“The shortage of talented STEM workers in the U.S. presents a serious challenge to companies looking to drive America’s global leadership in innovation,” write the Innovation Council members in the letter. “Reforms to our immigration system would not just unleash the full economic power of international workers; they would also stamp out the current abuses of the system… It’s time for Congress to prioritize growing our economy by reforming the immigration system to meet the demands of our modern workforce.”

Read the full text of the FWD.us Innovation Council Letter to Congress here.

For generations, immigrants have continually managed to build successful companies and create American jobs despite the costly obstacles of our broken immigration system. Businesses owned by immigrants employ one in 10 American workers, and, in 2011, generated $775 billion in revenue. Immigrants have also founded more than 50% of the U.S.’ billion-dollar startups, and continue to drive innovation.