OFA kicks off immigration reform video series with focus on tech

Buzdar, who is from Pakistan, explains how tech startups can create new jobs for Americans and bring wealth to the economy by churning out new innovations. He argues the current immigration system can keep businesses from planting their roots in the U.S., noting his own difficulties with the visa system.

"As soon as we made the decision to set up an office here, it became clear that immigration was going to be the first biggest hurdle," Buzdar says in the video.

"I think it's very important for people to understand the impact that startups and innovation have on the economy and get involved in that discussion and reach out to their lawmakers and make them aware of this issue," he adds.

The video also features an interview with Ryan Nadeau, customer success and operations manager at Convo.com, explaining how Buzdar's company has employed American workers like himself.

In an interview with The Hill, Nadeau said it's important for the company to be based in San Francisco so Buzdar can further expand the business by developing new business connections and partnerships there. Convo.com offers a cloud-based collaboration workplace service.

"Specifically for us in Silicon Valley, this is where relationships are formed," Nadeau said. "Faizan can't run this company and be on the other side of the world at the same time."

The launch of the video comes ahead of a "virtual march" OFA is sponsoring with Republicans for Immigration Reform and the immigration-focused advocacy group co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The political advocacy groups will sponsor a series of back-to-back events on various social media platforms, including Google Hangout and reddit, that will encourage the public to ask their lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Top figures in the political, sports and entertainment words are expected to participate in the social media push. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced on Friday that he will host a Twitter town hall on immigration reform next week as part of the virtual march.

The advocacy efforts coincide with the Senate Judiciary Committee's markup on the Gang of Eight's sweeping immigration reform bill. The Judiciary panel has spent more than a week working through hundreds of amendments to the bill and will resume its work on Monday.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of the Gang of Eight, is trying to find a compromise on a package of tech industry-backed amendments by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). The amendments would ease the requirements that employers would have to follow when hiring foreign high-skilled workers.

The amendments are expected to be put forward for a vote on Monday.

Hatch's amendments have faced pushback from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a Gang of Eight member, and union groups. Durbin has argued that those proposed changes would chip away at the protections for American workers in the bill that ensure companies offer jobs to them first.