An open pitch to Silicon Valley, VCs and Philanthropists

I’d like to pitch my concept, Tech4Change.

The background
In the current climate of immigration uncertainty, there is concern and uncertainty about the futures of highly skilled immigrants working in tech.

It is estimated by various sources that between 4 and 6 million illegal immigrants entered the US legally but stayed beyond the authorized duration of their visit. This includes people who entered under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), as well as those entering on other visas, such as the H1, K1 etc.

Disclaimer: I’m not a legal expert so consult an immigration lawyer for a full list.

The point is, many of these overstays may be eligible for adjustment of status to legal permanent resident if there is a visa available.

What’s more, for those who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, as defined in INA section 201(b)(2)(A)(i), there’s no requirement to wait until a visa is available. However, rumor is that Pres. Trump may restrict even those numbers.

Tech4Change is a practical, direct way to help stop people being deported, keep families together and keep skilled workers in gainful employment.

The competition
Pres. Trump and various right-of-center activists are trying to destroy families by removing illegal immigrants. The competition is acting quickly and in order to capture a share of the market, Tech4Change needs to act fast.

Like NOW

The pitch
Don’t just sit back and let others kick around ideas. Sure, the ACLU and other organizations are doing great work by helping with things like lawyers and lobbying. But this is a way to directly affect someone’s life.

In most cases, it costs a little under $2,000 for someone to obtain medical clearance and file all the necessary paperwork for a change of status. However, some immigrants can’t afford that in one lump sum. So here’s an idea…

The ask
There are plenty among you who support immigrants. Many of you are well-known and influential.

Why not get together and organize a non-profit trust fund for philanthropists, corporations, and other donors to contribute to, with the aim of providing the funding to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for adjustment of status and become legal residents.

Given the current political climate, I imagine support for fundraising would be substantial.

Who would qualify?
To be eligible for assistance from the fund, I suggest that applicants would need to:
 — be resident in the United States continuously for at least two years,
 — be the immediate relative of a US citizen (as defined in INA section 201(b)(2)(A)(i)),
 — be otherwise eligible for a change of status,
 — be free of any criminal convictions,
 — agree to file and pay taxes, and
 — be unable to pay the fees in full.

The lowest income families could be awarded a grant that does not need to be repaid, and families with more income could be awarded a loan to be paid back with zero, or very low, interest.

The awarded funds could be paid directly to USCIS, immigration lawyers, and licensed immigration medical doctors to avoid misappropriation.

I believe this would allow a good percentage of undocumented immigrants to become legal permanent residents and, eventually, naturalized US citizens.

Is this going to help everyone? No. And there are no official figures as to how many would be eligible for adjustment of status. But you would be doing something practical with tangible results, and saving the country money.

The return
According to ICE, it costs on average $12,500 to deport each immigrant. With just $2,000 needed to adjust status, that’s a

6.25:1 ROI

If you add in lost taxes and welfare support paid to the families left behind, you get upwards of

30:1 ROI

Please, for the sake of millions of families across this great nation,
don’t just talk about change —

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” — Mahatma Ghandi

Thank you.