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Labor unions, business leaders, faith denominations, law enforcement, and conservative pundits and lawmakers have all joined a coalition of voices pushing for immigration reform this year. The tech industry–with its particular interest in more H-1B visas for high-skilled tech workers–is coming onboard too, this week announcing a “virtual march for immigration reform” designed to pressure lawmakers into supporting legislation. Here’s more from the Associated Press:
The effort unveiled Monday is particularly focused on making it easier for the U.S. to attract highly educated immigrants and those aiming to work in high-tech fields.
Silicon Valley leaders and others have long complained of the difficulties of bringing high-tech workers to the U.S. and allowing them to stay once they’re here, and immigration legislation taking shape on Capitol Hill is expected to address the issue.
The new effort, backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Partnership for a New American Economy, aims to collect supporters and organize a date this spring for them to flood lawmakers’ offices via Twitter, Facebook, and other means.
“What we’re essentially doing is having tech leaders use technology to influence the debate,” said John Feinblatt, Bloomberg’s chief policy adviser…
The new effort brings together an array of high-tech heavy hitters including Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and chief executive of Revolution [who recently testified during a Senate hearing on immigration reform]; John Lilly, former chief executive of Mozilla and partner at Greylock Partners; venture capitalist Mike Maples; and Brad Feld, managing director of the Foundry Group.
The development is even more evidence that a broad cross-section of America recognizes the fact that we need immigration reform–and supports it. Plenty of polls back that up, and plenty of statements recognize it. All that’s left to do is act on it.