Like all impassioned political debates, there is a reason to be on both sides of the immigration divide.
If you are against immigration, you are likely afraid of what these new people might bring to the US. They could bring lower cost labor and cause you to lose your job. They could bring crime or worse. They could bring additional votes that would cause your political party to lose more of its power and weight.
But if you are for immigration, you are excited about what these new people will bring.
And I am most decidedly on the pro-immigration side, even though I understand the anti-immigration arguments.
The reasons I want to reform our immigration laws have mostly to do with opportunity, innovation, and our economy.
Let’s look at NY State.
Immigrants now account for 23 percent of all residents of New York State. More strikingly, they make up more than a quarter of all STEM workers. A third of all entrepreneurs in the state are immigrants and their businesses alone employ just shy of 500,000 people. And this is only the private companies. New York is additionally home to 55 large Fortune 500 companies, more than half of which were started by immigrants or their children.
Since the earliest days of the US, immigrants have been coming to our country and building things, often businesses that employ our citizens.
The tech sector is pro-immigration because it benefits from immigration and because it was created, at least in part, by immigrants. Unlike some sectors of our society, tech has not forgotten where it came from.
If you too have reasons to support pro-immigration reform, then you might want to participate in a “day of action” today called Reason For Reform.
The Partnership for a New American Economy’s (NAE) Reason for Reform campaign is a way to put a face on our current immigration system which is badly in need of reform. NAE is gathering stories and videos in every single congressional district across the country showing how immigration benefits the local community and why reform is so necessary. They’re getting business leaders, farmers, entrepreneurs, students, faith leaders, and others to record their #ReasonForReform on cell phones or computers, which will then be sent to members of Congress and shared through social media.
If this is for you, visit Reason For Reform to tell Congress and America what immigration means to you. And you can check out what’s going on in your state here.