LOS ANGELES — The last Tuesday of every month techies meet, greet and strategize for political dominance. The monthly meet-ups, organized largely by groups like FWD.us and Hack LA, encourage collaboration and civic engagement. Tuesday, May 26th was no exception. Officials from county and local government gave a short presentation on LA County’s new Open Source initiative (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Civic leaders, web developers, and start-up culture aficionados flocked to Downtown LA’s Hub LA on Traction Avenue for a Hack LA and FWD.us collaborative event. The space is gritty, authentic LA and perfect for boisterous brainstorming and networking. The group planned an immigration event for June 27th, but the exact time and location are not yet known.
June is Immigration Heritage Month. During the meeting, reference was made to a Texas Federal Appeals Court ruling against President Obama’s immigration reform executive action. One speaker at the event from FWD.us, a 501(c)4 issue-advocacy group, vowed the organization will keep pushing for change.
CULVER CITY — Technology and business leaders met with immigration reform advocates at NextSpace Tuesday, to hear Chad Blocker, partner at a leading immigration law firm called Fragomen, talk about President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform.
Blocker discussed changes to existing law that now make it possible for people in the U.S. on work visas to matriculate through the immigration system with less red tape.
Workers whose job fulfills STEM-needs, and who are engaged in work In demand, no longer need sponsorship from an employer.
In certain situations, spouses of H1B visa-holders may be sponsored, if the working spouse is in the process of applying for a Green Card.
The labor-certification process is streamlined.
While the reforms attempt to rectify the problems, Blocker pointed out what the President has stated, that Congress needs to act in order to make the changes stick.
More details about how the new executive action impacts existing reforms pertaining to the Dream Act are in need of clarification, according to the speaker and other policy watchers in the audience concurred.
One question I raised during the question and answer session was about a problem discussed by Mr. Blocker regarding increasing the capacity of governmental agencies to inform the public about changes in immigration policy. A lively discussion followed about how schools might play a key role in terms of educating the public about changes in immigration laws.
Members of the start-up community and the immigration reform community participated in this networking event.
FWD.us will hold a panel discussion on a topic, TBA, the first week of February.