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. 

Thousands Rally for Immigration Reform in Boulder During GOP Debate

Posted by Gillis Bernard on 10/30/2015

gop debate boulder immigration

On Wednesday October 28th, just yards from where Republican presidential candidates stood on stage in Boulder, Colorado for the CNBC GOP Debate, thousands of students, community members, and Latino leaders rallied for immigration reform, an end to politicians’ anti-immigration rhetoric, and the next president’s prioritization of practical immigration reform within the first 100 days in office.

The My Country, My Vote! rally demonstrated the burgeoning political power of one of America’s fastest-growing demographic groups – Latino and immigrant voters. The event, hosted by Denver’s first Latino mayor and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Peña, also coincided with the launch of a 12-month voter registration campaign to mobilize Colorado’s Latino, immigrant, and allied voter community.

The rally drew in more than 2,200 immigrants and advocates of all ages from around Colorado, wielding signs supporting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs and a commonsense, compassionate solution to our country’s broken immigration system.

Numerous immigration influencers gave rousing speeches, honoring immigrants’ valuable contributions to their communities around the country and noting immigration advocates’ influence in the upcoming presidential election. In addition to host Peña, speakers included Katherine Archuleta, Latino Victory Project National Committee Co-Chair, and Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers Union and longtime civil rights and labor activist.

FWD.us was honored to support the rally alongside other impactful local and national immigration groups, including Servicios de La Raza; CIRC Action Fund; Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization; Colorado Progressive Coalition; Escuela Tiatelolco; Latino Victory Project; LACLAA; Mi Familia Vota; Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority; Rights For All People; SEIU Local 105; Together Colorado; Voto Latino; and 2MX2.

Statement on CNBC GOP Debate: Reject the Astronomical Costs of Mass Deportation

Posted by Todd Schulte on 10/28/2015

FWD.us President, Todd Schulte, released the following statement after tonight’s third Republican primary debate:

Tonight’s debate was a discussion on the pressing economic issues our country faces.  Common sense immigration reform is the only issue with broad bipartisan support that would reduce the deficit by $820 billion.

It is astounding that some in a party that espouses smaller government wants one big enough to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and millions of their U.S. citizen family members. Mass deportation is absurd on its face and these policies are indefensible on human, economic, and political grounds.

Three in four Americans support common sense immigration reform – like them, we utterly reject mass deportation and will continue to show this horrible, absurd “plan’s” astronomical costs.