Tonight's Immigration Exchange Exposes Hollowness of Mass Deportation

Posted on 11/10/2015

Tonight, during the fourth Republican Debate, several candidates condemned the so-called “policy” of mass deportation, or the rounding up of approximately 11 million undocumented people currently living in the country. When this absurd and awful “policy” was denounced by Governors Kasich and Bush, those proposing it offered no defense for this anti-American idea.

Candidates like Governor John Kasich and Governor Jeb Bush spoke out, highlighting the complete absurdity of mass deportation:

  • “Come on, folks! We all know you can’t pick them up and ship them across, back across the border. It is a silly argument. It is not an adult argument. It makes no sense.” – Governor Kasich

  • “12 million… to send them back, 500,000 a month, is just, not possible. And it’s not embracing American values. And it would tear communities apart. And it would send a signal that we’re not the kind of country that know I know America is. And even having this conversation sends a powerful signal.” – Governor Bush

The human, economic, and political costs of mass deportation are astronomical, and we hope every candidate denounces this anti-American idea that would rip apart millions of families, cost $600 billion in new government spending to implement, and wipe out $1.7 trillion from the economy in favor of commonsense reform that will grow our economy and create American jobs.

Denounce Mass Deportation

Posted by Todd Schulte on 11/10/2015

Heading into the next Republican debate, FWD.us wanted to highlight several candidates who, in just the last two weeks, have actively pushed back against the absurd “plans” for mass deportation:

  • “There are people who suggest we should just deport everybody and we could do it in two years. That is a half a million people a month. That’s not possible.” – Governor Jeb Bush

  • “As to the 11 million, I want to talk about fixing the problem. We’re not going to deport 11 million people and their legal citizen children, but we will deport felons. And those who stay will have to learn our language to stay.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham

  • “But to think that we’re just going to put people on buses and ship them to the border. I mean look at our World War II experience where we quarantined Japanese I mean it’s a dark stain on America’s history.” – Governor John Kasich

Other candidates like Senator Rubio, Senator Paul and Governor Pataki, have weighed in against the idea of mass deportation as well.

Rebutting the idea that mass deportation is feasible, the conservative think tank – American Action Forum estimates that the cost of rounding up and deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants will cost the federal government $600 Billion in spending over 20 years and would reduce our GDP by $1.7 trillion – over 5%, as opposed to passing commonsense immigration reform, which would grow our economy by 1.4 trillion – a 5.4% increase by 2033.

Our message to candidates remains loud and clear. Condemn mass deportation, tell the American people how you will fix our broken immigration system and answer: As President, would you round up and deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living here? If yes, how specifically would you go about this? If no, are you going to grant them legal status? And if not, what is your specific plan to fix our broken system?

It is absurd that after three debates and countless interviews, many candidates have still not provided a clear answer to this question. We will again be looking for answers tomorrow night.

5th Circuit Ruling Expected, Clears Way for Appeal to SCOTUS

Posted by Todd Schulte on 11/09/2015

Tonight, as expected, the 5th Circuit ruled against DAPA and an expanded DACA program, which would protect millions of undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants who came here as children from deportation. While the ruling is disappointing, it allows for the Supreme Court to take up this case.

The DACA and DAPA programs are a critical step forward to helping the millions of hardworking families who continue to live in fear and uncertainty in the absence of the permanent legislative solution we need for our broken immigration system.

What a Startup Visa Would Mean for Boston's International Tech Ecosystem

Posted by Stephanie Bauer and Sagar Desai on 11/04/2015

startup visa boston

Why is there no way for entrepreneurs 2 come 2 U.S. + create American jobs? #immigration @datventures Click To Tweet

There are many different ways to enter the United States – as many visas as letters of the alphabet. While a “startup visa” doesn’t exist within our immigration system, our country – and Boston’s tech community – would benefit from the introduction of such a pathway. Why do we have no way for entrepreneurs to come into our country and create jobs for Americans?

Currently, visa options for business purposes are limited. To simplify, there are three general options available:

H visas are traditional work visas. They allow you to live in the U.S., be employed, and make money. However, H visas are designed for large and established companies, not startups. You cannot petition for yourself, which means the visa is only available to paid employees, not founders.

E visas allow entrepreneurs investing a significant amount of money into the U.S. economy to enter the country for a limited period of time, without any hope of ever gaining permanent status. For startups, the investment must be large enough to open and operate their business.

B visas allow for temporary travel for business or pleasure. This grants small startups, without enough money to acquire an E visa, permission to enter the country for 90 days. Unlike the other two visas, B visa holders cannot legally make money in the U.S. during this time. They also have no option for permanent status.

There are very few options available to entrepreneurs. Many just want to come expand their startup on American soil, create jobs, and make a living for themselves at the same time. And yet our country’s current immigration system doesn’t let them.

The United States was founded on the idea that it would be a sanctuary for new and innovative thinking. Why does our current immigration system actively prevent entrepreneurs from doing just this?

While few people disagree with the fundamentals behind this, little is being done on the legislative level to fix it. 

Enter Dat Ventures and its four founders: Tomas Ratia, Matt Hurley, Javier Rivera Lavid, and Sagar Desai.

Dat Ventures, founded in late 2014, is a Boston-based accelerator working exclusively with international startups. Their staff helps with everything from visa advice, to acclimating international entrepreneurs with the New England life.

The founding team identified the gap created by our immigration system, and is dedicated to making it easier for entrepreneurs to come and build their company in Boston and the United States. 

Just last week, Dat Ventures accepted a new batch of fellows – its fourth-ever cohort. This group consists of 13 startup teams from across Europe, Asia, and South America. 

While Dat Ventures is working to help entrepreneurs once they enter the U.S., few people are working to change immigration laws and make it easier for entrepreneurs to come here in the first place.

In President Obama’s executive actions last fall, he proposed a visa that would allow entrepreneurs to come to the United States and scale their companies. The full extent of the visa will hopefully be announced in the coming months.

But what can we do in the meantime?

Become informed on the issue and spread the word. Read about the startup visa – one suggested visa pathway for entrepreneurs that FWD.us has submitted to the White House. The more support this pathway has, the more likely it will come to fruition.