If the president wants to kickstart immigration reform both parties can support, he should launch his tour in Silicon Valley, or Boston, or the Dulles corridor
President Obama kicks off his immigration reform tour on Tuesday in Texas to outline a plan to secure the border while providing a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. This is a worthy debate at risk of becoming a partisan polemic. There is no evidence that Republicans and Democrats are even close to passing something resembling comprehensive immigration reform.
If the president wants to kick-start immigration reform both parties can support, he should launch his campaign in Silicon Valley, or Boston, or the Dulles corridor in northern Virginia. Here are high-tech enclaves where highly educated immigrants gravitate in search of coveted H1B visas. Many of them are Indians, with Masters from MIT, or an MBA from UT-Austin, working for large firms, consulting for the federal government, and just as often, starting their own businesses.
Along the Dulles corridor, the technology artery that connects the AOL/Verizon/IT hotspot of northern Virginia with Washington, D.C., I spoke with many Indian-born entrepreneurs and immigration lawyers for a piece in the forthcoming National Journal/Atlantic supplement on immigration and entrepreneurship. The common refrain from the start-up crowd was that immigrants rely on companies to sponsor them after graduation, which can make it hard to be a full-time immigrant entrepreneur in the U.S.