Yesterday and today we are conducting a virtual march on Washington to let our elected officials know that the time has come for comprehensive immigration reform.

If you are of the opinion that we ought to keep things as they are now, stop right now. This post and this march is not for you.

But if you are open minded about your fellow man, if you want the US to remain a nation of immigrants where we open our arms and borders to good people who want to come here, build a family, build a life, build a company, pay taxes, defend our country, etc, etc, then please join this march.

Last night I attended a #iMarch event at Appnexus and talked with Brian O'Kelly about immigration reform and why it is important. After I left I saw a number of tweets from that event that I thought I'd share with all of you this morning.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    before the Aliens Act of 1905 anyone could enter Britain, unchecked.i sometimes wonder if border controls really matter. how many people in this world really want to uproot themselves and leave their family members and friends and language and culture for a highly uncertain future somewhere else?

    1. fredwilson

      tons if you look at the history of the US

      1. jason wright

        that’s one interpretation of past events.the vast majority of eastern Europeans are not rushing westward to Germany, France, or Britain. EU freedom of movement allows them to move, unchecked.

      2. William Mougayar

        The period of 1880-1920 was a high immigration period to the United States. More than 24 million men (born between 1872 and 1900) registered for the World War I Draft–both U.S. citizens and immigrants.One of them was from our family. He was born in 1881 and emigrated in 1902 to Massachusetts & actually enlisted in WWI (I have a copy of his Draft card). His 2 sons also became WW-II vets, and one of them was wounded and received a medal. Now their 3rd generation siblings are successful entrepreneurs in New England and are every bit American as can be.

        1. Thewholepicture

          Do you know what the income tax rate was in that era? Zippo, Nada, 0. Different Times

          1. William Mougayar

            I didn’t know. How did the government operate then? And how relevant is it to the immigration reforms?

        2. ShanaC

          ha, my family on my father’s side also emigrated to the US in `1881

      3. matthughes

        “Tons”Translated — virtually everyone.I’m all for this, regardless of education or affluency.We need innovators creating technology in places like NYC & Silicon Valley as much as we need field workers picking grapes in Napa Valley.I hope good sense will win the day.

    2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Millions.I think u had only EU in mind when u wrote that comment.P.S. I know a 40-million who live on 1-meal a day who would love that….sad but true.

      1. jason wright

        i can guarantee the US doesn’t want those 40 million.it’s a cherry picking policy. the dysfunctional education system needs reform. the US has enough raw human talent. they should be given a chance.

    3. kidmercury

      a lot of people. in some immigrant sub-cultures, there is a playbook of sorts: one person is the brave soul who comes first, then everyone else follows. so it is not always about one person uprooting themselves, often it is a planned mass excursion.

      1. LE

        “brave soul”Kind of like a mutation that survives [1] and changes the species. If you get enough mutations something works out in the end.[1] In this context, arrives, gets the lay of the land, and reports back to those less reckless.

        1. Ana Milicevic

          I prefer explorer to brave soul, although they mean the same. Takes grit and guts to go off from the known into the unknown.

    4. Ana Milicevic

      Re: uprooting – if they could have a relatively normal life in their country of origin? Not all that many.

    5. Donna Brewington White

      When you put it that way it points out the pioneering spirit of some if not many immigrants. That spirit is part of the fabric of American culture. Ties into innovation, entrepreneurship, etc. We’ve got to keep that spirit alive one way or another.Interestingly many of the immigrants I know are entrepreneurs of some sort.

  2. takingpitches

    “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” ― FDR

  3. awaldstein

    Second generation New Yorker and American here.Can’t pass through the garment district, walk on Rivington Street, or see the Statue of Liberty and not feel connected to this place through the opportunities it afforded my family.I’m in.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Moving thought, Arnold.Speaking of being in, I may be in your city mid-June for a quickish work trip. Actually, Greenwich but will surely pop over to Manhattan. May have daughter in tow. Will keep you posted. 🙂

      1. awaldstein

        Be great to see you!

  4. William Mougayar

    Otherwise, tech immigrants can pivot to Canada where they are welcome :)http://immigration.gc.ca/st…

    1. David Smuts

      great picture!

    2. awaldstein

      Any figures on where the Canadian startups are getting their funding from?Who are the top VCs in Canada or are most coming south to find smart money to build their companies with?

      1. JimHirshfield

        iNovia Capital, for one.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Version One Ventures

        2. awaldstein

          Thnx…don’t have any dealing VCs north of the border. In fact, reading this realize that I have clients east and west coast, UK and Italy but not a one in Canada.

      2. Vineeth Kariappa

        They only fund people in Canada.

        1. William Mougayar

          That’s not correct. Some Canadian VC’s also fund US companies btw.

          1. Vineeth Kariappa

            “fund people” as in w/o companies.

      3. William Mougayar

        My gut feel ratio is that Canadian startups are getting about 2/3 of their funding from Canadian VCs and 1/3 from US sources in seed/Series A, whereas the ratio is prob reversed to 30 Canada /70 US for later stages because success brings attention by the US investors.So, we are stealing your VCs and the immigrants you can’t keep :)Top VCs include (sorry if I miss any) OMERS, Rho, Real Ventures, iNovia, Relay, Golden, Klass, Wertz, Round13, Extreme Ventures, Summerhill.

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          you don’t need to steal…if u just have open arm and mind they will fall into it.Hope you soon graduate from 2/3 to 30/70 🙂

        2. ShanaC

          huh – what have they been investing in – what are canada’s speciality areas?

      4. William Mougayar

        A flurry of very recent articles about Canada’s startup ecosystem (written by the US media):- Canada’s startup visa program in hyperdrive but US is dysfunctional (VentureBeat) http://venturebeat.com/2013…- Canada’s startup hub thrives near Toronto (USA Today) http://m.usatoday.com/artic…- Toronto’s Tumblrs: New Crop of Startups Await the Big Time (Forbes) http://www.forbes.com/sites

        1. awaldstein

          Thinking about what I use across my personal and account projects that is a Canadian early stage company.Shopify is I believe Canadian and the only one i can think of. Need to write up my experience building a store on their platform. A mixed bag for certain.

          1. William Mougayar

            Add Wattpad, Radian6, HootSuite, Desire2Learn, Taleo, Cognos, Eloqua, Kik…and I’m missing a few.

          2. awaldstein

            Wattpad I’m a big fan of. The others I know of don’t use on a daily basis.And honestly, I will always choose a product or vendor that’s local if I can. I go further afield only when necessity demands it.

          3. ShanaC

            taleo annoys me.

          4. Donna Brewington White

            why’s that?

          5. ShanaC

            too many required fields and the password choice is either really strong or weak, and no portability between companies

    3. jason wright

      “pivot” – the audacity! 🙂

    4. falicon

      That is wicked smart. Well played!

    5. Ana Milicevic

      Cheeky but also spot on. I find Canada’s point-based immigration system very clever and one I hope we’ll follow here in the US (Australia, New Zealand, and the UK all have/had similar systems). Several folks from my social circle have made the trek north — 4 years later they are proud Canadian citizens; had they remained in the US they would still be in ‘waiting for pending green card’ limbo.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        We won’t, because one of our political parties gets a new future voter every time we get a new, impoverished, unskilled immigrant. So there is a political incentive to bring in more impoverished, unskilled immigrants, even if it’s bad for American workers, bad for tax payers, and bad for the health of immigrants as well.And elites in our other major political party go along with this because they are, for lack of a better word, stupid.

        1. kidmercury

          that economic analysis is complete garbage because it ignores the myriad of co-relations. push wages down but what happens to cost of goods sold then? what is the impact of that on consumption? on exports? the problem is the immigrants who come here take all the public benefits without doing anything. but that is a problem with the general concept of public benefits — we have lots of americans on disability, food stamps, banker bailouts, etc that are just parasites.it doesn’t matter though, i highly doubt silicon valley will get the immigration reform they want anyway, because they take the wrong angle of attack, and don’t have the passion or heart to take the right one.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            If you’re referring to George Borjas’s analysis (my first link), he does take into account the broader economic effects, and notes that immigration does expand the economy. But, as he notes, the gains of that flow mainly to the immigrants themselves, in the form of wages, and to users of immigrants, while lowering the wages of American workers who compete with the immigrants. Essentially, it’s a form of redistribution from most American workers to immigrant workers and to employers of immigrant workers.As for my link to the study showing the fiscal cost of immigration, your response is the typical libertarian one, “this wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t have a welfare state”. That’s true, but since the welfare state isn’t going away, it remains a problem.Finally, I disagree that Fred and other advocates for comprehensive immigration reform lack passion; they have that and cash to burn. All the other side has is voters. Hopefully that will be enough.

          2. kidmercury

            they have some passion, like the way i have some passion for the philadelphia eagles. immigration is really a national security issue and silicon valley has nowhere near the level of passion and courage to understand this as a national security issue and act accordingly. that’s why they’ve been failing this whole time. perhaps they’ll get tired of failing some day and choose a path more likely to give them the results they want.the welfare state is the problem — not immigration. the welfare state may not be going away (i agree with you there) but attacking immigration as the problem is pointless. that’s like saying welfare is the problem but then complaining there are too many dallas cowboys fans.

    6. LE

      A great billboard. And as I say if you don’t toot your own horn nobody is going to do it for you. [1]Here I go again though.They need to replace “immigration.gc.ca/startup” with http://PivotToCanada.com or http://PivotCanda.com or even http://NewStartupVisas.com on that billboard [2].[1] Here’s a toot though for gawk.it and voom.ly[2] All are free to register.

      1. falicon

        Agree on the domain…make it easy to remember and easy to share.Oh and thanks for the extra toot! As a head’s up the iphone app *finally* got approved yesterday too ( you can get it here: http://goo.gl/tjxUD )…bare bones v1 but it’s a start & will only improve from here!

        1. LE

          Just downloaded it.Quick comments.1) Did a search for AVC, brought up some stuff but no dates (what’s the sort and why?).2) For #1 clicked on both links (comment link and “gawk.it comments” nothing happens.3) Should be able to use disqus to sign in.4) Default active conversations is good but need dates. Good discovery app. I can seem myself going here when I am in line at Starbucks waiting for coffee or the same way I use techmeme or HN (if I can’t sleep). I like that the font is large enough to see something. An enhancement might be logos instead of “cnn” “mashable” etc.

          1. falicon

            Awesome feedback (thanks!). I will def. address them all in the next update. But quickly:1. For search it’s the same as the web version (sorting, features, etc.)…display is a bit dif because of available space, but def. needs some updates.2. Strange – will debug.3. Great idea – will work on it.4. Cool – I have also added in a basic RSS reader and some tagging features to the web version and so both of those will also be going into the mobile app very soon (and should make for even more interesting discovery). The active conversations and the RSS stuff is always filtered down to just the last 24 hours…so on the RSS I just list the hour that we added the item, I think I will make the same update to the active conversations (though the active conversations are sorted by the one with the most comments always being at the top)….also just so I don’t annoy too many people by taking over this thread…anyone that ever wants to reach out to me directly with feedback, questions, or ideas can do so via email at info@falicon:disqus .com or by pinging me on twitter @falicon:disqus – THANKS!

          2. LE

            I think that one of the things that make AVC good is that Fred gives “shelf space” to people without regard to whether it benefits a company he has invested in or an issue he cares about. [1]That said by commenting publicly others can offer opinions and learn from a discussions back and forth. [2][1] Contrasted with, say, what happens on HN.[2] Also, as a general rule there is a correlation between number of comments on a blog (as long as they are “quality”) and how seriously that blog is taken. A blog with 5 or 10 comments per day is not seen as as influential as one with 100 comments consistently. Nobody looking at that “number” makes a judgement whether the comments are on topic or not. By “nobody” I mean most people or even a journalist for the WSJ deciding whether AVC is influential.

      2. William Mougayar

        That was just a re-direct to this long winded “official” URL:http://www.cic.gc.ca/englis…But I agree they could have used a simpler one, especially that it was a re-direct. However, maybe they wanted to make sure that the audience knows it is a government thing, and not someone else.

    7. Sean Hull

      Wow, where is that billboard?

      1. William Mougayar

        Near the SFO airport along the 101.

        1. fredwilson


          1. Sean Hull

            Someone is thinking!

    8. ShanaC

      I like that billboard. Great move on their part

    9. JLM

      .Competition.Competition is good. Molson’s is good.Sharpen your pencil, USA.JLM.

      1. William Mougayar

        Ha. I think this is a nudge, more than real competition, certainly not damaging competition. Canada is exploiting a temporary weakness in the US Immigration practices. I’m told Jason Kenney, our Immigration Minister was behind it. In his words:“We just want to drive the point home, that if you’re thinking of doing a start-up in North America, why don’t you come to Canada. You can do so permanently. Create the wealth there, create the jobs in Canada, bring your huge human capital to Canada, contribute to our economy.”http://business.financialpo…

  5. FlavioGomes

    Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…raison d être

  6. David Smuts

    I think there is a misconception amongst the startup community in regards to visas in that there are plenty of opportunities for Entrepreneurs to get US visas. The immigration law provides for this- the difficulty is it’s just so damn expensive and friggin complicated that it creates a huge barrier.The system needs wholesale reform and just like the US Corporate Tax system, needs simplifying.Well done Fred for being a champion on this.

  7. Seb Robin

    Hi Fred,I’m Frenchman who got civilized in the UK; but I’m back in France now (please don’t ask why!). Clearly I won’t be able to march, but I’d like to thank you and the crowd for actively supporting immigration reform in the US. As it is an ambition of mine to come to the US, I am a 1000% backing your initiative and wish you successful event.

  8. kidmercury

    doubt you’ll get meaningful reform without addressing the relationship between national security and immigration. i know silicon valley won’t go there, don’t have the passion for it yet. perhaps in time.

    1. Ana Milicevic

      Is that the same issue though in the context of highly-skilled immigrants?

      1. kidmercury

        i believe so, because i don’t think lawmakers are going to make a distinction for highly-skilled immigrants. after all they could still be terrorists! or so the story goes…..

  9. pointsnfigures

    The good news is that we are talking about reforming immigration. America is an exceptional place different from everywhere else on earth. Immigration takes our society forward. I am happy there are Republicans on board and are actively writing the bill. The scary thing to a lot of Americans is that along with the high aspirational immigrants that come to our country, we get a bunch of people that come in just for the fringe government benefits. We cannot afford them. It will never happen, but since there is a supply of immigrants and a large demand for them, we ought to be able to derive a price and charge people to come in. Gary Becker has proposed that theory.Will be interesting to see exactly what’s in this bill. Unfortunately, it gets lobbied and special interests from both sides of the aisle get pieces in it. (which is why Becker’s solution is so elegant) That has unforeseen economic consequences down the road. At least everyone will read it before they pass it.

    1. William Mougayar

      Yup. The Mexican factor bloody complicates it. “Comprehensive reform” ends-up delaying the whole thing.

    2. Ana Milicevic

      Or we could adopt a points-based system of evaluating potential immigrants (e.g. based on education level, income level in originating country, language skills, etc) and finally formally acknowledge that immigrants aren’t all the same.

  10. Elia Freedman

    My grandmother passed away this weekend. Her father was an immigrant from Eastern Europe. Came without a nickel in his pocket. Found scrap and newspaper he could resell, working his way to a car so he could get further reach until he had worked his way up to buying an auto parts and scrap business. He had four kids, every one of them worked in that yard. My grandmother was doing the books at aged 9, started the glass business (even cutting and shaping glass) before she could drive (legally).When her father died suddenly of a heart attack shortly after she married my grandfather, my grandfather took over the business day to day and all three of their children worked in the yard. Our family isn’t rich (by today’s standards) but my grandparents managed to turn that business into a comfortable life. My grandfather lived to 93 (my grandmother to 95) and he spent more years retired then he did working. (I use the term retired loosely. He didn’t sit down until the night he died.)I’m the third generation born in the US and that work ethic has been passed down from my great grandfather to my grandparents to my parents to me. My cousins are the same way.So really. Don’t we want more of that?

    1. LE

      Sorry about your grandmother Elia!To your point though (my family was the same) that was a different place and time.I wonder what the outcome might be with the social safety nets that we have in place now vs. back at that time.Back then it was a) sink or swim b) no safety net (or existing family bailed you out and kept pressure on you c) everybody and his brother wasn’t trying to get over here.The immigrants that came over at that time were particularly motivated and stood out for their effort. Last point is weak but I still think it’s correct. We have a positive view of many immigrants here because we see the people who darwined from the old country not the people who didn’t have what it takes and weren’t motivated enough to get here. Same as happens with people who migrate to NYC from other parts they are motivated enough to migrate to NYC and not stay on main street in Podunk. (Or take Brad Pitt who hailed from nowhere most people from nowhere aren’t Brad Pitt although many are as good looking as Brad Pitt.)

      1. Elia Freedman

        Thanks, LE.We don’t know who is going to be a “good” immigrant and who will be a “bad” one. (All we know is that the bad immigrants will get all the press.) There were good and bad ones then, too. (Mafia didn’t start in this country.) The reality is that people like my great grandparents (and yours) were a far more net positive to our community.As for your comment about “everybody and their brother wasn’t trying to get over here”, that’s just wrong. All of Southern and Eastern Europe plus Ireland seemed to want in. (Between 1880 and 1924 we averaged 600K immigrants per year with a population around 90M. Now it is 1.5M (legal and illegal) immigrants per year with a 270M population, slightly down.) At that time these same debates were being waged at the federal level and at that time US citizens spoke about immigrants with the same racist undertones we hear now.All I know is the man who does my yard works his butt off in some of the nastiest conditions. He does a great job, manages to support his family and a few employees. He emigrated from Mexico.

        1. LE

          “who does my yard works his butt off in some of the nastiest conditions”Agree with what you are saying and so does the person who does my yard work and the yard work at the complex here.But I wonder also if part of that is simply keeping a low profile because they are illegal and are afraid to get kicked out. They don’t even make eye contact here. Also I feel that perhaps in LA area (as one example) things are different (gangs etc.). Not an issue where I am so I have the same positive impression that you do.Personally one of the things I would like to see (which of course would never pass because of all the liberal thought out there) was having people come over perform in lower paying jobs, in a sense give their labor for many years in order to prove themselves “worthy” if you want to call it that. A chance to observe and mold them (once again on the premise that it’s a not a “right” to be here or anything but a priveledge.) This happens in other contexts (medical students, residents or interns as only one example).By the way as far as the 600k immigrants per year that was as I said a different time and place and the cost to our country (social safety net etc.) was not as much as currently. Many of those immigrants worked in sweat shops etc. So I guess (to defend my statement) I would say that they were giving instead of taking and that’s the key difference.

          1. Elia Freedman

            On one of the legs of my journey east I sat next to a watermelon farmer from TX. He told me they hire 150 US citizens a year to farm for them. Last year only one of those citizens made it through the entire summer. He point blank said that he found them lazy. Hispanic immigrants (through a special program, not illegal) make up the bulk of his work force each year and said the same is true across his industry.So if we want to kick out the immigrants, then we better come up with a plan to make US citizens a heck of a lot less lazy.For the record, my yard guy is very friendly and happy to look people in the face. It’s his business so he has to drum up the customers.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Sorry to hear Elia … I remember this impending event from your mother’s day comment and how significant your grandmother…your grandparents … have been to your life. What a legacy.

      1. Elia Freedman

        Thanks, Donna.

    3. Dave Pinsen

      Sorry for your loss, but in answer to your question, not every immigrant is like your grandmother, unfortunately. And to base our current immigration policy, and the future of the country, on nostalgia (or “ethnocentric kitsch”, as Steve Sailer puts it, a bit more harshly, perhaps) is not the best idea.

      1. Elia Freedman

        Thanks, Dave, for the sympathies.We disagree on immigration. I don’t see it as nostalgia at all. Yes, the bad comes with the good. But the good has far outweighed the negatives throughout US history.

    4. jason wright

      My grandmother (my Nan) passed away one year ago next Friday.My sympathies to you and your family.

      1. Elia Freedman

        Thanks, Jason.

    5. fredwilson

      i am sorry to hear that Elia

      1. Elia Freedman

        Thanks, Fred.

    6. ShanaC

      yes – and it is sad that some people don’t

      1. Elia Freedman

        I’ll bet you have your own immigrant story, too, Shana.

        1. ShanaC

          oh I do – it was a pair of brothers, both very entrepreneurial who fled Czarist russia because a sibling murdered a solider and they were Jewish.They a) had an argument about how to spell their last name (so I have a whole slew of relatives distantly related who are Karp*) b) both brothers started companies. So did a lot of their children, grandchildren, ect. If I went through my family tree on my father’s side, the majority of people are entrepreneurs some of which became super-successful. They also had a tendency to marry into other jewish entrepreneurial families, so the idea of starting companies to me seems like the normal thing to do.*Since it is going to come up – I don’t know if I am related to David Karp of tumblr fame. That last name variation is much more common than mine. If his father’s family is from Boston, then the answer is definitely yes. He’s also definitely related to the CEO of Palantir as well if that is the case.

          1. Elia Freedman

            Entrepreneurship seems to be embedded in our blood lines. I love to tell the story: My cousin graduated from chiropractic school and instead of taking the normal route (working for someone else to get experience) he started his own practice. His wife, not of entrepreneurial blood, was nervous about this. They had a lot of debt. I told her that she needs to understand something. His father had his own business, my father, his uncle, his mother, both of his grandparents, his brother. We just don’t know any better!

    7. William Mougayar

      My sympathies Elia. Grandmothers are special.

      1. Elia Freedman

        Thanks, William.

    8. Tom Labus

      My condolences on the loss of your grandmother. Elia.

      1. Elia Freedman

        Thanks, Thomas.

  11. andyswan

    The Welfare State is the problem here. End the welfare state and open the borders.Only skilled persons who are confident in their own ability to create wealth would want to enter a meritocracy with a minimal, uncomfortable safety net.We don’t need a committee figuring out who is worth what….that’s what markets are for.

    1. jason wright

      there needs to be a basic social safety net. i agree with your sentiment.

      1. andyswan

        I love the idea of a basic social safety net.What I can’t accept is a safety net that is comfortable.What I reject is the concept that the safety net must be constructed by the Federal Government.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Basically, we warehouse people today. Phone, cable, housing, food…..and give them a poor education and poor economic stimuli to try and do better…..

      2. kidmercury

        there is already a basic social safety net that has been in place since the beginning of time. it is called friends, family, and charity (FFC). the more people choose to give their money to government to manage social safety, the less capital there is available for FFC. FFC is far more efficient at allocating capital than government is.

        1. jason wright

          quite a long time ago i worked in the sector for five years, and i saw on a daily basis the human fallout of government policies. some contributed to their own downfall, some suffered misfortune and did not. Not everyone has F&F support.

          1. kidmercury

            i know not everyone has FF support, which is why the proper name for the support is FFC.a more meaningful response might be WHY doesn’t everyone have FF support? could it partially be because supporting people costs money and they don’t have it? why don’t they have it? if people had more money, would FFC resources, particularly the “C” component of FFC, be larger?

        2. pointsnfigures

          Read America 3.0(americathreepointzero.com). America is one of the few countries that doesn’t compel a safety net via peer pressure. I would agree our govt is too big, too expensive etc-but I am not for totally ending every single social program we have-I’d change them in ways the left wouldn’t like-but I wouldn’t end every single one of them. As a nation, we do have to help the lesser among us.

        3. ObjectMethodology.com

          Hmm… That reminds me of the many times I did a startup and was looking for seed money. The majority of the time I was told to go to friends and family first before looking elsewhere. I guess that net extends to more than just help for “basic needs”.

    2. Evan

      Avoiding the argument over whether our current safety net is “comfortable” (it isn’t; edge case abusers should not indict the system). Are you proposing we end/limit the safety net available to immigrants? Or for all citizens?If the former, I’d be intrigued to think about the idea at least. If the latter, I can’t possibly see the merit…

    3. kidmercury

      #realtalk #upvotedi would add that the welfare state includes the warfare state, which is basically welfare for wealthy industrialists.

    4. Carl Rahn Griffith

      I disagree with the harvesting of talent from other countries, as if the USA is the only place to ‘make it’ – much as I love the USA it would be nice if talent stayed in their own country more often and ‘made it’ there – ergo, creating jobs/wealth in their own country for the immediate benefit of their people. If talent-resources are low in one’s own country look at the problems at home in one’s own education/entrepreneurial system/s.Don’t even start me on the visa-process overall re: USA – my experiences sucked in 2002-4 and it very nearly destroyed my relationship – and I was bringing-in money and creating jobs in NYC (at a very welcome time post 9/11 one would have thought) yet still the process was an utter nightmare.

  12. Mike Kijewski

    I used to support this type of immigration reform, but the recent news articles about there being a relatively large number of US-trained STEM students not being able to find jobs does suggest that many of these large companies want foreign workers because they’re willing to work for less money.I’m not sure how I feel about that now.

    1. fredwilson

      can you post links to those stories? i would like to read them. and i would like to hire those STEM grads who are looking but can’t find work.

      1. Mike Kijewski

        I believe the main story I’m remembering was on NPR’s Marketplace, but I can’t seem to find a reference to it.Here is an article that summarizes half of the argument (immigrants work for less), but doesn’t address the unemployed graduates issue. I’ll keep looking.http://www.theverge.com/201

        1. fredwilson


      2. Cam MacRae

        Your definition of STEM is narrower than EPI’s… unless, of course, you’re looking to hire an expert in artificial insemination…We’re having a similar debate here, in ditto the UK. Where people fall on the issue seems to be a factor of taxonomy by incentive to suspend disbelief.On the whole it appears to be concerted effort on behalf of big business to adjust the labour market to its favour. Fine, however I’d be more sympathetic if business invested in skilling up the workforce — perhaps I’m just nostalgic.

  13. LE

    Just saw this:http://www.nytimes.com/2013…The plan, “Tax-Free N.Y.,” will offer college-friendly companies exemptions from a wide variety of state taxes — including those on sales, property, the income of employees and owners — for 10 years. “What do we mean by tax-free?” asked Mr. Cuomo, at the program’s announcement at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the State University at Albany. “We mean tax-free.” Mr. Cuomo’s plan would effectively open tens of millions of square feet at dozens of SUNY campuses to new businesses without collecting taxes.

  14. ShanaC

    The imarch concept makes me wonder if we lose the image of big groups of people standing for things as change – without the image, it makes it hard to conceive of the multitudes that think a certain political thought

  15. Techman

    Aside from the article’s topic, this is the first time I’ve seen Storify embedded into a web page. Looks nice.

  16. Ciaran

    I’m not a US citizen, so have no real opinion on what you do or don’t decide to do about immigration. But I do find ridiculously self-serving exaggeration rather tiresome.#iMarch was the biggest political thunderclap of all time.So not MLK’s march on Washington? Or the Jarrow march? French revolution? No. A piece of clicktivism designed, let’s be honest, to allow high-worth companies, with aggressive tax avoidance policies, to hire cheaper staff. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but let’s not pretend that this is on any sort of par with real political ‘thunderclaps’

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I don’t know enough about the #iMarch impact to gauge the accuracy of your statement. But, yes, would have to be pretty huge to compare with the events you listed.Why do you think the real intent is to hire cheaper staff, rather than the stated intent?

      1. Ciaran

        http://www.huffingtonpost.c…But the EPI study found that one of the main arguments for an increase in HB-1 visas may rest on the false assumption that there aren’t enough high-skilled workers in the U.S. workers to fill companies’ needs. Since around 2004, wages in the high-tech sector have remained flat, the study found, indicating that expanding the labor pool in the field would only drive wages down.wages_n_3154251.html

  17. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Did it!

  18. ObjectMethodology.com

    We don’t *need* immigration reform. Some people *want* it though. The planet earth doesn’t trade with other planets. Which is proof that a closed system certainly can and does work. You could completely close off the borders of the US and we would do just fine..I think the issue is who wants what out of immigration reform? Then you must ask can those people get what they want without immigration reform? If the answer to question two is yes. Then you must ask whether we should work to provide something to people who won’t bother to get what they already can by uses the resources they have..When asking for funding for software projects. There were times when I was told I needed a working version first. When I said I needed funding to build it. I was told no, I should get a working version done through whatever means possible and that others do it everyday without funding..So, I wonder if people (like myself) who would benefit from immigration reform are just too lazy to figure out how to get what we want another way? I always think to hire first from within the US. The people here are better software developers. I do tend to find they don’t want to work cheap. But, I can’t blame them for that.

  19. big sister

    In the land of the free everything has a price, the price of immigration is high, freedom is priceless.