Immigration Reform – A Stubborn Issue

I’ve written a lot in the past about our country’s need for immigration reform. As the son of an immigrant entrepreneur, it’s an issue I care deeply about. That is why I’ve partnered with business and civic leaders to try to do something about it through the creation of the Global EIR program: a public-private partnership where universities can sponsor H1-B visas for immigrant entrepreneurs, avoiding the luck-of-the-draw annual lottery system.

It’s also why I’m calling attention to the Partnership for a New American Economy’s (NAE) Reason for Reform campaign, which launches today. NAE, of which I’m a member, is a bipartisan coalition of over 500 civic and business leaders from across the country who support common-sense immigration reforms that will support and create American jobs. They’ve marked today as a National Day of Action with events in all 50 states and the release of new, state-specific research highlighting the economic contributions of immigrants in each state—as well as Washington, DC—and the costs borne in the absence of reform.

The Reason for Reform campaign invites all those affected by our broken immigration system—including farmers, faith leaders, business owners, students, tech leaders, and others—to record a brief, 30-second clip of themselves from their phones or computers giving their reason for immigration reform. These videos will be immediately sent to Congress and can be shared through social media to encourage others to join the movement. Visit now to add your voice to this national effort. Our elected leaders have stalled enough. It’s time for all of us to make it known that we demand real action on immigration.

Each day we wait, we lose out on what could be tomorrow’s next big innovation. Our nation was built as a land of immigrants. Think about all the products and services we’d miss out on were it not for ambitious immigrants who came to America to turn their visions into realities. Companies like Google, eBay, AT&T, and Kraft. Today, 40 percent of Fortune 500 firms were founded by immigrants or their children, and foreign-born entrepreneurs are behind 51 percent of America’s billion-dollar startups. Here in Massachusetts, at least one in every five entrepreneurs was born in another country. These innovators are helping to ensure that America remains a global business leader and a top destination for talent from around the world.

Our elected leaders need to know just how frustrated we are with our current system. This isn’t an immigration system that can respond to today’s business landscape and market realities. We demand a revised system that allows business opportunities to flourish and creates jobs for more Americans.

Please join me in the fight by recording your Reason for Reform now. Congress needs to hear all of our voices demanding real change. The economic future of the United States depends on it.