On Tuesday, FWD.us and the National Immigration Forum organized an incredibly successful day of direct advocacy for immigration reform. 15 immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators from across the country met with over a dozen legislators on Capitol Hill to advocate for fixing the high-skilled immigration system. The event coincided with the announcement that a record-breaking 233,000 H-1B visa applications were received by USCIS for the 85,000 available visas for FY 2016.
Borui Wang of San Francisco and Hanlin Hong of Boston, are two of the 233,000 people who submitted H-1B applications this year and spent Tuesday advocating for reforms to the visa system that will help them stay in the United States. Both Wang and Hong have degrees from American universities and have created jobs for native-born Americans.
Advocacy Day participants with FWD.us Organizing Director Lisa Conn and President Todd Schulte.
The participants delivered the message of the #Freedom2Innovate directly to their representatives –highlighting the need for a visa system that works for entrepreneurs, students, and businesses. After meetings with legislators from seven different states, the Advocacy Day continued with a press conference featuring Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who called for passing a high-skilled immigration reform bill in the Senate.
FWD.us President Todd Schulte closed the press conference with a statement: “The need for comprehensive immigration reform matters to so many people, to millions of American families, and it’s critical to our economy: we will be working on this until it gets done. The commonsense, bipartisan I-Squared bill will make it easier for the best and the brightest talent to stay in the U.S. and fully contribute to our communities and workforce.”
Check out some of the best tweets from the day:
— Martin Wallner (@wallnermm) April 14, 2015
— Jen Martin (@theJenMartin) April 14, 2015
— Thomas Ketchell (@tomketch) April 14, 2015
— FWD.us (@FWD_us) April 14, 2015
Today Sen. Hatch met with immigrant entrepreneurs to discuss the immediate need for high-skilled immigration reform. pic.twitter.com/kVFBOUwYxy
— Senator Hatch Office (@SenOrrinHatch) April 14, 2015
Want to get involved in direct advocacy for immigration reform? Join your FWD.us chapter now.