Thanksgiving Day is a national U.S. holiday commemorating the Pilgrims’ celebration of the harvest in 1621. The first national Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by President George Washington as a “national day of thanksgiving and prayer” on November 26, 1789. Thanksgiving, also referred to as “Turkey Day,” has come to be seen as a time to gather with family and friends in our homes and falls on November 28th this year. The Thanksgiving feast includes foods such as turkey, sweet potatoes, squash, cornbread, and pumpkin pie in order to celebrate the feast of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. This November we’ll also celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th where we honor those who have served the country in the military and worked to protect our freedom.
TECH LEADERS IN THE SILICON VALLEY FIGHT FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM
The key technology tycoons based in the Silicon Valley have come together to show their support for immigration reform. The leaders of Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, News Corp., Groupon, Dropbox and more are working together to encourage the House of Representatives to vote on a bill this calendar year. In addition to standard print and online campaigns, they have organized “fly-in” trips to Washington DC and a special “DREAMer Hackathon” event that will take place in California. The “hackathon” is hosted by FWD.us—a lobbying group that was co-founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to encourage Congress to promote policies such as comprehensive immigration reform and education reform to keep the U.S. a competitive force in the global economy. During the “hackathon,” DREAMers will be advised by top tech executives as they create digital applications and tools that will help others enforce FWD.us’s advocacy mission.
GOAL FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM BY THE END OF 2013
With just two months left in 2013, Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives are pushing for a vote on Immigration Reform, and Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner recently said that he is “hopeful” that the vote will take place this year. In October, the House Democrats introduced a bill that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. Over 180 Democrats have shown their support for the bill so far. Although the House Republicans have not formally introduced a bill, House committees have passed five immigration bills and two Republican Representatives, Mario Diaz-Balart and Darrell Issa, are currently working on bills that will discuss the status of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Still, only a handful of House Republicans support a path to citizenship for ALL undocumented immigrants, and not just DREAMers.
CAUTION FOR DIVERSITY VISA PROGRAM APPLICANTS
The U.S. Department of State has been taking online registrations for the 2015 Diversity Visa Program from October 1st through November 2nd, 2013. During this registration period, it is not uncommon for scammers to pretend to be the government in order to try to take applicants’ money. Those applying for this program should only work with the U.S. Department of State and be on alert for potentially fake calls, texts, emails and letters.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office!