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Twitter & Facebook “Keeping Drive Alive” for Immigration Reform

Advocates in New York and the nation have been using social media in an effort to keep the immigration reform drive alive in Congress  and they believe it's working.
Advocates in New York and the nation have been using social media in an effort to keep the immigration reform drive alive in Congress and they believe it's working.
May 17, 2013

NEW YORK – Advocates in New York and the nation have been using social media in an effort to keep the immigration reform drive alive in Congress – and they believe it's working.

The U.S. Senate spent this week marking up the immigration reform bill, and Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, executive director of Long Island Wins, says her group is focused on keeping track of so-called 'poison-pill' amendments.

"The tweeting, the Facebooking, the calling, the sending letters to the 'Gang of 8' made a very good impact,” she says. “A lot of the negative amendments that were being marked up didn't pass, so, it was a good week."

Among the amendments rejected was a Republican proposal to require biometric entry and exit systems be installed at U.S. ports of entry before legal status could have been granted to as many as 11 million undocumented people.

Slustsky says reforming the immigration system will help put a plug in the current brain drain on Long Island. She says the area could reap big economic benefits if highly trained students and other high-tech immigrants could stay longer.

"We're losing them in the medical field,” she says. “We're losing them in the science field and if they restructure the visas, Long Island can really be a hub for high-tech, high-skilled workers."

Slutsky says reform will also help provide needed workers for contractors and local farmers.

"It will also help with our agri-business out on the East End of Long Island,” she maintains. “There will be visas more accessible to seasonal workers."

Senators are expected to continue their debate over high-tech visas into next week.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY