I marched for an afternoon in front of the Silicon Valley office of Rep. Zoe Lofgren, one of millions of voices on immigration reform.
SAN JOSE, Calif.— About a dozen of us rallied in front of Rep. Zoe Lofgren's office one afternoon last month, carrying signs and singing songs in support of immigration reform. We were a few of the millions of voices in a debate sweeping across America.
We said no person is illegal. We asked legislators to recognize the natural rights of children of undocumented workers to remain with their families.
One woman in our group told the story of her son's partner, who has lived and worked without documentation in this country for more than a decade. He lives in fear a traffic ticket could get him deported.
Another was a high school teacher with smart students who want to but cannot attend college in this country. Some were sent here to get away from poverty or dysfunctional family situations at home.
I have heard executives of big Silicon Valley tech companies say they cannot hire some of the best and brightest people due to our immigration laws. I have heard of entrepreneurs who want to but cannot start their companies in this country.
I also have heard the voices of rank-and-file engineers who charge employers want to use H-1B visas and offshoring as a way to lower labor costs. They fear even today's immigration laws and labor practices are undermining their jobs.
This website has carried stories from both groups -- the highly visible representatives of industry trade groups as well as engineers voicing their concerns in anonymous comments and through IEEE-USA representatives.
I share the broadly felt skepticism about whether these voices will be heard in a deep and balanced way by Democratic and Republican legislators in today's divisive and dysfunctional Congress. I also share an equally broadly felt belief that America is a great country born on great ideals of a diverse and fair society with liberty and justice for all.
I encourage you to find your platform in this debate. Maybe it's an afternoon in front of your representative's office or a simple email to a legislator, a guest editorial sent to my email, or a comment below.