LAS VEGAS — Immigration reform is perhaps the most crucial policy issue affecting entrepreneurship and the technology industry, with many businesses struggling to grow and expand due to the current broken immigration system. South by Southwest (SXSW) will host an immigration panel Monday titled “America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Case for Fixing our Broken Immigration System” — its only policy-focused session — featuring CEOs of influential startup companies. The panel, at 9 a.m. Monday, is sponsored by the National Immigration Forum.
The session, headlined by Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), will center on the need to strengthen our economy by fixing our broken immigration system and the role the tech community is playing in advocating for a comprehensive approach. With Congress in recess, dozens of roundtable discussions similar to this one are happening around the country to urge members of the House of Representatives to get the job done when they return to Washington.
Leaving Austin, Texas, for the first time, the SXSW Version 2 Vegas conference will focus on creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation. The conference is expected to draw 1,500 participants.
For press credentials, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of the day Friday.
The following are quotes from participants in advance of the panel:
Andrew Crump, CEO of Bluefields:
“I find it unbelievably strange that in a country founded on modern immigration and entrepreneurship there is no clear path for foreign entrepreneurs to build their companies here. America should want the next Facebook or Twitter to be built in the U.S., creating U.S. jobs and contributing to the U.S. economy. Every company that gives up on its U.S. dream is an opportunity lost for America.”
Alex Torrenegra, Colombian immigrant and CEO of VoiceBunny:
“I believe immigrants, like myself, should not have to get lucky to have a chance at success in America. Immigration reform will benefit the U.S. by once again attracting ‘the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ that made this country what it’s today.”
WHAT: Immigration panel at South by Southwest (SXSW), titled “America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Case for Fixing our Broken Immigration System”
WHO: Rep. Joe Heck, (R-Nev.)
Scott Allison, CEO of Teamly
Andrew Crump, CEO of Bluefields
Alex Torrenegra, CEO of VoiceBunny
Mark Falzone, Deputy Director, National Immigration Forum (Moderator)
WHEN: 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, August 12
WHERE: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Belmont Ballroom 1
Bibles, Badges and Business is a project of the National Immigration Forum and the National Immigration Forum Action Fund.