Forty years ago, my parents took a leap of faith on America. My dad came to the U.S. to pursue a master's degree. My parents stayed in America after my dad completed his education because they believed that America offered a better life.They recognized it as a country of possibilities. They took a chance, embraced change and left behind everything they knew in India to build their life in the United States. With that decision, their accomplishments and contributions, and those of their children and grandchildren, became part of America's success.
America is a country built by immigrants. My parents' story is important not because it is unique but rather because it is the story of America. It is a story that should be allowed to repeat itself.
Our immigration system is broken. It is decades past its effectiveness, lacks the flexibility necessary to address the opportunities we have in the 21st Century, and relies on outdated processes. We have opportunities to welcome the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of those immigrants -- much like my parents -- hoping for a chance to use their ideas to build an even stronger America.
I am "marching" today to urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform through the March for Innovation, a virtual march on Washington taking place online this Wednesday and Thursday aimed at influencing our legislators. AppNexus is also hosting the kick-off March for Innovation event in our auditorium space tonight with the Mayor's Office and influencers including Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures.
Please take this opportunity to join me as part of the movement to reform our immigration system. Send your message to our elected leaders in Washington via Facebook or Twitter and let them know you want comprehensive immigration reform now. Follow our progress on Twitter with #iMarch.
An immigration system that turns away 20,000 visionaries each year, after we have educated them in our schools, must be changed.
An immigration system that divides families and forces children to watch as a parent is taken away in handcuffs to be deported must be changed. One that forces couples and families to make difficult decisions when one parent is a U.S. citizen, and the other is not, but is perhaps tied to one company and one location through a H1-B visa. One that doesn't even recognize same-sex couples so that one can sponsor the other for a green card, in the same way opposite-sex couples can.
An immigration system that tells the best and brightest the world has to offer that America doesn't want their help; a system that turns its back on the very fuel that has created this amazing country, must be changed.
It's time to get involved. This is where it begins.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and The Partnership for a New American Economy, in conjunction with the March for Innovation, a virtual march taking place May 22-23 across a number of social-media platforms designed to call attention to the immigration-reform bill now before Congress. One of those platforms will be HuffPost Live. For more information on the march, click here.