A coalition of entrepreneurs, social media experts and venture capitalists from Silicon Valley, have launched a campaign in favor of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States, which is set to conclude in April with a “virtual march” on Washington.
The aim of the March for Innovation campaign is to convince lawmakers to give their backing to a bill that is designed to make it simpler for entrepreneurs to be able to hire the engineers that are needed in order for them to develop technology companies.
“Our immigration laws are so inefficient,” notes the co-founder of intelligent music apps start-up development firm Khush, Prerna Gupta, who is the daughter of Indian immigrants. “Our country was built off the backs of immigrants and I’ve seen first-hand the impact that educated immigrants can have. So as an employer it’s extremely frustrating not to be able to hire the educated engineers we need.”
When Khush was just getting started four years ago, back in 2009, they were unable to afford the legal fees needed to be able to get a H-1B high-skilled US visa for the Chinese engineer who co-founded the company and who created the code for the app, meaning that somebody else had to learn it, a process that took many months and slowed down the company’s progress considerably.
Gupta joins a number of other luminaries, including AOL co-founder Steve Case, Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway, and tech investor Brad Feld in the March for Innovation campaign.