Mashable is proud to join technology’s brightest entrepreneurs in the March For Innovation, a virtual march on Washington that calls for smart, comprehensive immigration reform to attract and keep the best and brightest to fuel innovation and American jobs.
It’s no secret that I’m passionate about startups. It’s how most people see me.
Whenever I travel and speak to groups about my book Startup Communities, or I talk with startups that are seeking investment, I see so many cases in which bright people are doing great work by trying to build something special. And very often, these bright people are immigrants.
Unfortunately, while these people have come to our country seeking opportunity and the chance to contribute to American progress, we make it all too difficult for them to stay here.
If it sounds illogical, that’s because it is. Instead of providing visas to foreign-born entrepreneurs who can help create American jobs and drive innovation, our broken immigration system presents a constant string of obstacles that frequently shuts these people out –- and, in turn, threatens our economic well-being.
We need to fix these antiquated laws, and we need to do it now.
That’s why I’m proud to be participating in a nationwide effort to call for the passage of immigration reform, the March for Innovation.
This march is the largest-ever virtual march on Washington in support of commonsense immigration laws, and it’s bringing together hundreds of thousands of Americans from all across the country.
As the co-founder of Foundry Group, a venture capital firm and TechStars, one of the first startup accelerators, I’m excited to leverage the power of social media to make sure that people directly contact their elected officials online to voice their support for bipartisan reform. Through May 23, anyone can go online and join the march at MarchForInnovation.com. There, you’ll be able to use Twitter, Facebook, Thunderclap and a number of other online tools to tell your leaders in Washington that the time for action is now.
For several years, I have advocated for an overhaul of our nation’s immigration system, as the current system does more to stymie innovation than it does to nurture it. Technology is rapidly evolving, and access to information — which, in the past, was limited to wealthy, advanced countries like America — is now readily available worldwide. This great equalizer means that we now have to be smarter about how we compete with the rest of the world.
On my blog, FeldThoughts, I recently wrote about the forward-thinking immigration policies in Canada and Britain. This is important because we no longer have a monopoly on innovation. If we allow our competitors in the global economy to recruit U.S.-trained innovators and entrepreneurs, our competitive edge in the marketplace will very soon be wiped out.
One of the smartest things we can do is fix our outdated immigration system to allow us to attract the world’s best, brightest and hardest-working.
Please join me in this effort to call for comprehensive immigration reform now! Go to MarchForInnovation.com today. With one simple click of a button, you can send a message to Washington and tell Congress the time is now for immigration reform.
Image via Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images
Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/05/22/brad-feld-march-for-innovation/