FWD.us Congratulates Speaker Ryan for GOP Primary Victory

Posted by Todd Schulte on 08/09/2016

Today, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan won his primary race against Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen, who centered his campaign around an absurd and awful anti-immigrant platform.

Statement from FWD.us President Todd Schulte:

“Congrats to Speaker Ryan on his expected though resounding win against Paul Nehlen, who – along anti-immigrant groups and pundits – seemed to think that mass deportation of 11 million immigrants and removing entire religions from this country were good policies and good politics.

Tonight’s results are not a surprise but are a good reminder that the American people and Republican primary voters really just want realistic immigration solutions to secure the border, modernize the legal immigration system and provide a process for undocumented immigrants who pass a background check to get right with the law.”

Tonight’s a good reminder: Nehlen’s anti-immigrant allies have awful political AND policy prescriptions.

BACKGROUND ON NEHLEN’S ALLIES ENGAGEMENT:

  • Nehlen’s candidacy received a national push by hard-core anti-immigrant restrictionist groups like NumbersUSA, who called Nehlen a “true reformer” for his support of mass deportation and revoking the 14th Amendment for immigrants.
  • ALIPAC, who the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled a hate group , endorsed Nehlen’s campaign in May and launched an attack with radio ads, automated calls, online ads and volunteer calls to roughly 25,000 households in Wisconsin.
  • Ann Coulter and  Sarah Palin, among others, went in hard promising a defeat of Ryan, even saying “This is it. This is your last chance to save America.”

HERE’S ONE REASON THEY WERE WRONG: POLLING CONSISTENTLY SHOWS SUPPORT FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM AMONGST ALL SEGMENTS OF THE ELECTORATE:

  • The majority of Americans hold favorable views about immigration, with roughly two-thirds of voters opposing suggestions of mass deportation to round up and deport the population of nearly 11 million undocumented individuals living in the United States
  • More than 75% of Republicans also favor an earned path to citizenship, according to a Gallup Poll released in July 2016

GOP and Tech Leaders Gather in Orange Country to Address Need for Immigration Reform

Posted by Catherine Lyons on 08/04/2016

GOP and Tech Leaders Address Need for Immigration ReformOn July 26th, more than 150 business leaders, elected officials, and company representatives attended a summit on immigration reform, hosted by FWD.us and the Internet Marketing Association at the Richard Nixon Library and Museum in Orange County, California.

The evening featured Congresswoman Representative Mimi Walters (CA-45), Michael Dubin, CEO of Dollar Shave Club, Rob Jesmer, Campaign Manager for FWD.us, and Faquiry Diaz Cala, CEO of Tres Mares Group, who participated in a panel discussion on pressing economic issues including immigration reform. One point the event showcased: there is bipartisan agreement and support for comprehensive and commonsense immigration reform legislation in 2017.

Each panelist agreed that Congress and political leaders from both parties need to come together to update an immigration system that hasn’t been reformed for 30 years.

Commonsense immigration reform is especially needed in areas like Orange County and the Central Valley of California. Immigration Reform would boost California’s GDP by nearly $11 billion to around $27 billion over the next decade.

It is clear that now, more than ever, we need to come together and pass commonsense immigration reform.

Texas Celebrates Immigrant Heritage Month by Hosting Immigrant-Founded Startup Pitch Challenge

Posted by Nick Baker on 08/02/2016

Immigrant Heritage Month Texas

Cobby Amoah, founder of Obaa, speaks at the Immigrant Heritage Month event in Dallas, Texas. (Photo credit: Luiz Sifuentes)

June marked the third Immigrant Heritage Month, and the Dallas Chapter of FWD.us came together to celebrate the occasion by hosting a pitch challenge featuring immigrant-founded startups.

Two companies, Obaa and La Gioia, tied for third place in the pitch competition. Obaa, founded by Cobby Amoah, focuses on streamlining data sharing and communications between healthcare providers and patients. The startup aims to improve healthcare outcomes for patients and lower costs for providers with his all-in-one platform. La Gioia, founded by William Lechuga, delivers exclusive designer uniforms at affordable prices, to businesses such as boutique hotels and restaurants. William aspires to help businesses communicate their brand to consumers through fashion. Check out this photo album for an inside look at all the pitches and presentations from the event.

Cobby and William are both immigrant entrepreneurs. Cobby is originally from Ghana, and William immigrated to America from Spain. Cobby initially came to America with the goal of becoming a doctor. However, when he realized computers were going to dramatically alter the healthcare industry, Cobby decided to shift course and found a health tech company. He dreams of drastically improving our health care system, but there are many challenges he must overcome along the way. In addition to the challenges inherent to being an entrepreneur, he must also navigate the complicated U.S. immigration system. Cobby has applied for a green card based on his extraordinary talent–but there is no guarantee it will come through.

Immigrant Heritage Month Texas

William Lechuga, founder of La Gioia, is in the process of applying for an E-2 investor visa. (Photo credit: Lilimar Oliveras)

William is a newcomer to Texas. He made the move to Dallas at the beginning of April of this year in order to grow his business and pursue opportunities that don’t exist elsewhere. William envisions La Gioia changing the way institutions present themselves to the world. In five to ten years, he sees La Gioia serving a variety of markets, including schools, airlines, and hospitals. William is in the process of applying for an E-2 investor visa. But since the E-2 is a “non-immigrant” visa, it won’t enable William to apply for a green card. Without a clear long-term immigration pathway for entrepreneurs, Cobby and William have no assurance they will be able to stay in the U.S, grow their businesses, and benefit our communities.

Cobby and William are not alone in the challenges they face as immigrant entrepreneurs. Cobby believes a Startup Visa would be beneficial both for immigrant entrepreneurs as well as the United States. He has many friends who have faced similar issues with the American immigration system. If hardworking, entrepreneurial immigrants are able to stay in the U.S., they will contribute both innovations and jobs to our communities.

To put the entrepreneurial drive of immigrants in perspective, the American Immigration Council found that immigrants started more than a quarter of a million businesses from 2006 to 2010 in Texas alone. These are businesses that generate revenue, create jobs, and contribute to the state’s economy. Immigrant entrepreneurs are at the forefront of innovation, but they lack the necessary tools to stay in the U.S and grow their businesses. Without a long-term immigration pathway for these entrepreneurs, we miss out on the economic benefits generated by companies like Obaa and La Gioia.

FWD.us’ Push For Reform tool makes it easy to advocate for immigrant entrepreneurs. Simply type in your address to find out where your member of Congress stands on immigration reform, and use the built-in tools to to contact your representative via social media, a phone call, or even a custom letter.

It’s up to you to let our leaders in Congress know we support entrepreneurs like Cobby and William.

ICYMI: FWD.us Taps Republican Policy Expert Mark Delich To Drive Congressional Outreach

Posted on 08/02/2016

Washington, DC — FWD.us today announced the hire of seasoned Hill veteran Mark Delich as director of congressional affairs.

Mark’s hire adds another powerful conservative voice to FWD.us’ growing bipartisan team ahead of the 2016 election and beyond. In his new role, Mark will help drive the organization’s congressional outreach efforts and will continue to build relationships with bipartisan lawmakers in key offices to help push immigration reform through Congress in 2017.

Mark comes to FWD.us with more than a decade of public policy experience, most recently as a senior advisor to Senator John McCain, where he was on the forefront of issues involving homeland security and immigration. There, he served as a lead staffer on a number of high-profile legislative initiatives, including the comprehensive immigration reform bill S. 744, which passed in the Senate with an overwhelming majority in December 2013.

Prior to advising Sen. McCain, Mark was the director of policy at the Reform Institute, where he set the strategic direction for the Institute’s policy work on immigration and homeland security issues. His impressive background serving as a lead staffer for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will add considerable strength to FWD.us’ efforts to update the high-skilled immigration system.

“Mark’s expert knowledge of immigration and border security issues will be a tremendous asset for our organization and our efforts on the Hill,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “We’re thrilled to leverage his bipartisan experience working with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle as we fight to get commonsense immigration reform done in 2017.”

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

“FWD.us has been a great advocate in pushing for sensible immigration policies that will secure our borders, reform our visa system and provide an earned pathway to citizenship for the millions of people who are living in the United States without papers,” said Mark Delich. “I’m excited to join them and continue fighting for policies—like comprehensive immigration reform—that make sense for our economy and our country.”