Last April Mark Zuckerberg created a lobbying group for immigration reform called FWD.us. The main aspects of immigration reform that FWD.us will advocate are stated on the FWD.us site as follows:
Secure the Border...
Provide law enforcement the tools necessary to secure the border.
Establish a streamlined process for admitting future workers to ensure that we continue to promote innovation and meet our workplace needs. Modifications to the guest worker must also include an increase in the number of H-1B visas to attract the world's best and brightest workers, while implementing reforms that encourage this talant to permanently reside in the U.S.
Employment Verification Program...
Develop a simple and effective verification system.
Pathway to Citizenship...
Create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the United States that do not have legal status.
Reforming the Legal System...
Reform the legal immigration system to better strengthen the American economy and American families.
Now that the U.S fiscal issues are no longer dominating the debate in Washington, some observers feel that this is immigration reforms moment to be heard. Next week FWD.us and other business groups will meet with Republican lawmakers to push for new legislation on immigration.
Tech companies are leading this reform for the benefit of hiring the worlds brightest engineering stars. FWD.us wants more H-1B visas issued to high skilled workers along with the opportunity for these workers to eventually obtain a permanent status in the United States.
How will FWD.us navigate the political maze to achieve its goals? Well, it is no secret that the Republicans are low on the popularity list right now, and in the words of someone familiar with FWD.us thinking: "All the fundementals for why both parties should persue immigration reform are still there, and in the case of the Republicans, they are even stronger."
They continued, " Something has got to give in Congress and hopefully immigration reform will be it."
Zuckerbergs work with local kids at an after school program was part of his motivation for creating FWD.us. "One day I asked my students what they thought about going to college" he said. "One of my top aspiring entrepreneurs told me that he wasn't sure that he would be able to go to college because he's 'undocumented'. The boys family had moved from Mexico to the U.S when he was a baby and he had no memory of living anywhere else. In response to the plight of the many young people in the same situation, the Facebook founder created a 'hackathon' spearheaded by FWD.us. Next month undocumented immigrants and tech professionals will gather at LinkedIn headquarters in California, and divide into teams tasked with coding solutions to problems within the U.S immigration system. FWD.us President Joe Green said "We hope the momentum coming from our hackathon - and the technology it creates - can help move immigration reform forward.
Immigration reform Hackathon http://www.fwd.us/hackathon