LatinaLista — As the shouts to Congress get louder about passing immigration reform, it seems more and more sectors of society are lending their support and voices to the cause. The latest is the technology sector, that has actually been publicly criticizing Washington for sometime now about its treatment of immigrants who come to the U.S. to get their Master’s and PhDs in technology-related fields and are then sent packing upon graduation.
The loss of these future inventors and entrepreneurs has been a sore spot with many in Silicon Valley and throughout the nation who understand that the only way the U.S. can compete in a wired global economy is to have the very people with the skillsets who are being booted from the country.
So, it wasn’t too surprising to hear that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had co-founded a new immigration advocacy organization. FWD.us, comprised of his Silicon Valley peers. Like others in the business community, who have come on board of late to speak out for immigration reform, it was assumed Zuckerberg was advocating for only highly skilled immigrants.
Yet, in an op-ed written by Zuckerberg announcing the launch of FWD.us, and published in the Washington Post on the day of the big immigration march in Washington on Wednesday, Zuckerberg didn’t focus on the highly skilled immigrants — he spoke about DREAMers.
In this collaborative effort to get immigration reform done, two camps have emerged — those advocating for the highly skilled immigrants and those advocating for the low-skilled immigrants. One camp are the businesses who see those degreed immigrants as their return on investment (ROI and the other camp who see the DREAMers and the manual laborers as a human rights battle.
But in the fight for immigration reform, it is too often forgotten the potential all immigrants have to strengthen our economy and carry the nation forward. It was refreshing to read Zuckerberg’s piece about how he had met a middle school student who could not dream of going to college because he was undocumented.
Maybe it served as a wake-up call to Zuckerberg that something has to be done for all immigrants. At the least, it got one of the most influential people in the country to recognize that a person’s potential can be as valuable as their academic pedigree.
It’s a realization that needs to be shared with more in Congress.