Quantcast
Latest Stories

High-tech city gets behind US immigration reform

By

From left to right, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Michael Bennett, D-CO, talk about their tour of the Mexico border with the United States as they arrive for a news conference after the tour on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, in Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

SAN JOSE, California–The next picket line demanding immigration reform may not just be made up of farm workers and health care providers. Engineers, techs and start-up business owners may join in. This “capital of Silicon Valley” has an important stake in easing the burden of acquiring permanent residency for its high-tech work force.

The full San Jose City Council this month urged the US Congress “to swiftly enact comprehensive immigration reform that includes not only a “fair and affordable path” to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but also reforming the visa system so that families would be allowed to stay and be together during the entire process of acquiring permanent residency.

The council resolution was the result of a recent forum—and a memo it generated–hosted by the South Bay First Thursdays (SBFT), an organization run by volunteers and headed by eight University of California and San Jose State students.

Meeting every first Thursday of the month to take on issues affecting the Asian community, SBFT is funded by Santa Clara County’s largest community-based organization, the Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI).

The most recent forum on immigration reform, featuring with a panel of experts and advocates, led to the instrumental SBFT memo. Citing a Kauffman Foundation study, the memo revealed that immigrants founded 43.9 percent of Silicon Valley start-ups between 2006 and 2012.

Immigrants and innovation

“San Jose, perhaps more than any American city, has an important and timely story to tell about immigration,” read the memo. “As the capital of Silicon Valley, we are one of the most diverse and immigrant-rich cities in the country and one of the most prosperous and innovative.

The city, it said, exemplified the potential for comprehensive immigration reform to be a positive force “in continued progress in America, but future success will only be possible “if we continue to welcome immigrants under a fair, understandable and functional system that allows families to be and stay together.”

According to a University of Southern California study, immigration reform could create as much as $16 billion for California’s economy. Immigrants in Santa Clara County are reported to generate 44 percent of the region’s economic activity.

Another study showed that immigrants were more likely to set up and maintain small businesses, and the Small Business Administration calculated that immigrants who owned businesses generated $67 billion in U.S. business income.

A separate report showed that 64 percent of the science and engineering work force in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties in 2011 were foreign-born.

Concrete Suggestions

Recognizing these, SBFT’s memo called for a comprehensive reform of the current green card and H1-B visa systems. The current immigration process takes too long and costs too much for immigrants who may face deportation.

The prospects of a long wait and being separated from family make even high-tech workers vulnerable to exploitation in the labor force. The memo suggested “either immediate permanent residency or visa portability to allow them to create their careers and/or businesses without their citizenship being dictated by one particular company.”

The memo also said that reform must move beyond “costly, enforcement-only policies” that “foster mistrust among immigrant communities,” and provide a process for citizenship for undocumented immigrants who entered the US as young people and grew up in America as Americans. These potential contributors to the community, it said, should be allowed to enter college and then the work force.

District 5 Councilmember Xavier Campos and District 9 Councilmember Don Rocha signed the memo, copies of which will be delivered to the U.S. Congress, the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the California Congressional delegation and the President of the US.


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful 3 mins elapsed Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further 6 mins elapsed Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th 22 mins elapsed Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report 26 mins elapsed Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official 31 mins elapsed Pope’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’ 1 hour elapsed Fire sweeps through slum area in Caloocan City 1 hour elapsed Militants kill 14 Algerian soldiers in ambush 2 hours elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: H1-B visas , High-tech , immigration reform , infotech , News , Silicon Valley , technology

  • JanofVA

    Are you kidding me, San Jose is super expensive to live in…you’ll have to pay somebody over $150,000 just to afford a medium sized condominium…maybe if you didn’t outsource all the IT jobs to India to begin with, you wouldn’t have the shortage now…you GREEDY idiots…



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
  1. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  4. Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  5. Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  6. Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  7. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  8. Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  9. Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  10. Aquino may be ousted for cybercrime law, says lawmaker
  1. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  2. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  3. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  4. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  5. Netizens react to Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley
  6. IT technician found guilty of defrauding firm of P130,000
  7. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  8. Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  9. Nude and so dangerous
  10. Online-addicted man arrested over son’s death
  1. #RejectedBbPilipinas2014Questions flood Twitter
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens fall in love with Crimea prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya
  4. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  5. Nude and so dangerous
  6. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  7. Russia tries to curb Crimean prosecutor’s Internet fame
  8. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  9. Why didn’t missing jet passengers use their cellphones?
  10. Netizens thank Capa for Lee arrest

News

  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Pope’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace