The Next America: Population 2043

Posted by Lucas Waldron on 05/01/2015

Yesterday, Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, joined National Journal‘s ”The Next America: Population 2043” town hall in San Jose, California, where she discussed how California is taking a unique approach to immigration challenges and opportunities. DREAMer Sarahi Salamanca highlighted challenges facing undocumented students seeking educational and workforce opportunities in a panel discussion with former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa and California State Assembly Member Rocky Chavez. Later, tech leaders Lars Dalgaard, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and Pierre-Jean “PJ” Cobut, Echo Labs co-founder, discussed how high-skilled immigration reform is essential to California’s economy and prospects for future job creation.

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Napolitano spoke specifically about the success of California’s program that allows undocumented students to receive financial aid and emphasized the importance of increasing access to education for minority students.

View clips from the event on our YouTube channel here.

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“Look at the talent we have in this state,” Mayor Villaraigosa said, referring to Salamanca. Later, Villaraigosa underscored the need for California to invest in its students – regardless of immigration status.

Join the fight for reform – find out where your representative stands on immigration reform using our app Push4Reform.

The Next America: Population 2043 was hosted by Emerson Collective, National Journal Live, and FWD.us.

HB 3528: An Important Step Forward for Illinois

Posted by Caitlin McClure on 04/30/2015

This blog was written by Caitlin McClure, a Chicago chapter member and the Communications Director at Rise. 

In Illinois, HB 3528 could change the lives of thousands of aspiring students. If passed, the bill would allow undocumented students who graduated from an Illinois high school to receive financial aid at public colleges and universities across the state.

Undocumented students in the United States are held back because they often can’t afford to go to college. They are frequently treated as international students, making tuition incredibly high, and leaving many students without viable options for higher education.

For me, supporting HB 3528 is easy. We all deserve a chance to better educate ourselves and should have an opportunity to further benefit our lives and our community. I grew up in a small town in Southeastern Illinois where most people were white, and I had only met a few immigrants in my life. When I got to University of Illinois, I didn’t even know undocumented students existed. But then I met Vishal Disawar, an undocumented immigrant and the founder of Rise – a student-led organization dedicated to advocating for socially conscious policies at University of Illinois (find more about Vishal here).

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After getting involved in Rise, I’m shocked by how blind I was before to the discrimination undocumented students face right here in my home state. It’s time to take a stand, Illinoisans. HB 3528 will be voted on soon and it needs to be passed.

Shouldn’t we be proud that we have one of the best education systems in the world and people want to experience it? The students affected by HB 3528 have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world just by having access to higher education; they could be the next people making important discoveries, or inventing new products.

“We are simply asking for help, as we seek to ensure a better future for ourselves and for our families. We seek to improve our condition, and consequently, the condition of the country in which we live,” said Elizabeth Bonilla, an undocumented student at University of Illinois.

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So how can you help? Use the interactive tool built by us at Rise – this tool allows you to tweet or send online postcards to your local representative, just by entering in your zip code. It also provides you with a phone number and a script if you choose to pick up the phone and call your representative. There’s never been an easier way to fight for important policies in Illinois.

Want to get involved in political advocacy in your city? Click here to find your local FWD.us chapter!

This blog post was adapted from the original post by the author on Medium.

Revoking Birthright Citizenship is Misguided

Posted on 04/29/2015

Washington, DC – Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us, released the following statement today ahead of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the consideration of revoking birthright citizenship:

“Today’s hearing on revoking birthright citizenship is a misguided attempt to rewrite the Constitution. Congress’s failure to fix our immigration system is costing our economy to lose $37 million a day, and yet this is their preoccupation. This unfortunate effort is a waste of time that should instead be spent working on meaningful immigration reform legislation.”

DACA and DAPA Will Boost Nevada's Economy

Posted on 04/27/2015

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Expanded DACA and DAPA programs, as announced by the Obama administration, will boost Nevada’s economy and the U.S. economy as a whole. At full enrollment, approximately 63,000 people in Nevada could benefit from DACA or DAPA.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers found executive action on immigration reform will grow the U.S. economy by $90 billion to $210 billion over the next ten years.

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Photo via Shutterstock

Increasing Nevada’s labor force by 63,000 people will have significant impact on Nevada’s economy. DACA and DAPA in Nevada could generate $220.7 million in new labor income and $151.4 million in new tax revenue, according to findings by UCLA’s North American Integration and Development Center.

With the successful implementation of DACA and DAPA, Nevada’s own GDP will increase by $700 million to $1.7 billion over the next ten years. CEA also found DACA and DAPA will help raise average wages for U.S.-born workers by $170 a year.

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Photo via Shutterstock

Click here to find out where your Representative stands on immigration.