Can the tech community change the conversation on immigration reform? There is no doubt that immigration is an important topic in today’s society, but many times it is not spoken of in large forums. In other words, not a lot of big names other than politicians talk about it. This has started to change with Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. Four of the largest names in the technology industry: Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates Reid Hoffman, and Eric Schmidt, formed Fwd.us in 2013 in an effort to bring attention to our nations need for immigration reform.

Fwd.us to spend $10 million in this election

Fwd.us recently announced that this year they will launch another campaign that could spend upwards of 10 million dollars in an effort to bring more attention to the need for comprehensive immigration reform. They also announced that they would expand its ground operations into 12 states, and want to focus on the presidential campaign trails and targeting house seats that are held by republicans. This organization is hopeful that they will be able to rally the American people to show that they do in fact want immigration reform, and do not want a president like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, who will focus on enforcement only, meaning deportation. In 2013 and 2014, 75% of all paid media regarding immigration reform was financed by this group, and there is no doubt that we will see a similar media push in the coming months.

Do the American people want immigration reform?

According to an August 12, 2015 article focused on a July 2015 Gallup poll, 65% of Americans want some form of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Only 14% support just a limited work permit and only 19% want to deport them all back to their home countries. The answer is clearly yes, a majority of American want immigration reform.

How does party identification change this view?

Democrats, according to this poll, at 80% overwhelmingly favor allowing the immigrants to stay in the U.S. and have a chance at U.S. citizenship. A surprising 50% of Republicans want the same thing. The Trump and Cruz part of the Republican Party that wants to see all immigrants deported accounts for 31% of Republicans. Approximately 18% of Republicans favor allowing the immigrants to stay for a limited time to work.

What does this poll mean for the 2016 elections?

On the Democratic side, it supports what we are seeing on the campaign trail. The candidates are fighting over who will help immigrants more. The Republican presidential candidates are going to have a harder time. The party is essentially split 50/50 on this issue. Any candidate that wants to get the nomination needs to get through the primary process. Historically, the more motivated voting block goes to the primary elections. Today, that is the tea party and they are strongly against any type of meaningful immigration reform, that doesn’t focus on enforcement. The one exception that may be able to thread the needle is Marco Rubio. He was a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, although he has since abandoned that approach. He still retains tea party support, and does want to address the issue. Clearly his plan would be very different than any of the Democratic nominees, but given his Hispanic heritage he could make a compelling argument that may get some tea party support.

How will Fwd.us affect the conversation?

Take last summer’s ALS ice bucket challenge, for example, the moment a celebrity got behind it, the video went viral. It took a celebrity to get the video the views it needed to really take off. Once millions viewed this video, everybody wanted to replicate it. Now I am not saying that our immigration system is synonymous to an Internet challenge, but an issue doesn’t get the attention it deserves until an event or person makes it one. This is why I feel that Fwd.us’ involvement is a positive step in the right direction. Perhaps the involvement of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Reid Hoffman, and Eric Schmidt, among others, will be able to focus people on the issue.

What can you a U.S. citizen do?

In a poll one year ago by the Huffington Post, 81% of those polled said they felt that the American legislature needed to tackle legislation regarding immigration. That is an overwhelming majority want our legislature to address this problem. Irrespective, of whether you are a Republican or Democrat, you need to vote. Too often we wonder who an elected official can take positions so different from what you or I would want our elected officials to do. There is a simple solution, vote.

What can immigrants do?

As covered in prior articles, there is a rather large portion of the population with a vested interest in the future of immigration reform that is unable to vote in the upcoming elections. This portion of the population is made up of those who hold green cards or other forms of legal residence. While these people are able to work and live in America, they are unable to vote in elections and have their voice heard in determining who our leader becomes. This is why we at Andres Mejer Law cannot stress enough the need for anyone who is unsure of their legal status or legal options, to find out. Go to www.QualifyForLegalStatus.com, answer the questions, and talk to one of our knowledgeable staff members. Find out today. There are many paths to legal status. We have some clients that are already U.S. citizens and didn’t know it. What if you have a green card? If you have had it for over three years (if your spouse applied for your) or for over five years (someone other than your spouse applied for you), you can file for your U.S. citizenship. If you have had your green card for long enough period and are over a certain age, you may not need to speak to English in order to become a U.S. citizen. Age has its benefits. Don’t wait to get started. You can,

  1. Call 888-695-6169,
  2. Fill out the form on this page,
  3. Fill out the live chat on this page.