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There’s only little more than a day left to join the virtual March for Innovation, which is digitally marching on Washington, DC to agitate for immigration reform.
There are two key problems that require immediate remediation in Congress, according to the coalition of companies, politicians, and nonprofits: jobs and fairness.
“Our outdated immigration system is costing our economy talent, jobs, and innovation, not to mention the toll it’s taking on families and potential immigrants,” the organization says. “America can’t afford to fall behind in the race for global talent — a race we’re already losing. Already, other countries have incentivized innovation and encouraged startups while we make it difficult for talented immigrants to even apply for a visa.”
That sounds like a reference to Canada, which recently created a “startup visa” that gives immigrants who are founding companies instant permanent residency and had its minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, visit Silicon Valley to drum up applicants who might be having trouble staying in the U.S.
The result could be a net drain on the American economy:
Holy crap! @alexisohanian ‘s mom was an illegal immigrant. If she had been deported? No #reddit for the USA. That’s why #iMarch #latism
— AnaRC (@AnaRC) May 22, 2013
When I chatted with Kenney last week, he called the U.S. immigration system “dysfunctional.”
The U.S. has made attempts to address the situation with a Startup Act of its own, but even that would only allow founders to stay for up to three years. The March for Innovation is looking for much more comprehensive reform that would include help for undocumented immigrants already in the country.
March for Immigration is supported by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Steve Case, Mark Cuban, Arianna Huffington, and numerous other business and technology leaders.
If you’re interested in participating, here are four things you can do to help:
- Tweet or Facebook your senator
- Spread the word on Twitter or Facebook
- Change your Facebook profile picture to iMarch
- Email your friends
The ultimate goal is immigration reform that supports innovation and delivers on the promise at the feet of the Statue of Liberty.
photo credit: gerson721 via photopin cc
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