“We believe that by providing an online platform that anyone can use, and by building a strong coalition of groups who share the same goal, we stand a better chance of seeing this bill become law,” Engine Advocacy Co-Founder Mike McGeary said in a statement.
The launch of the campaign comes as the Senate has kicked off debate on the Gang of Eight's immigration bill and will begin considering amendments to the measure. The Senate overwhelmingly voted to take up the sweeping measure in an 84-15 vote on Tuesday, boosting the momentum behind the bill.
The "Keep Us Here" campaign has secured partnerships from a politically diverse range of groups, including Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's advocacy group Partnership for a New American Economy. The Consumer Electronics Association and Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which both count top tech firms like Google and IBM as members, are also partnering with Engine Advocacy in the effort.
“The debate over comprehensive immigration reform will be an important page in America’s history, and I encourage folks to be involved,” Warner said in a statement. “Express your views by calling your representatives, writing an email, sending a tweet, or monitoring tech platforms like Keep Us Here."
Other advocacy groups have launched social media-focused campaigns to rally support for immigration reform amid the current debate in Congress.
Last month Bloomberg's advocacy group joined forces with Organizing for Action and Republicans for Immigration Reform to sponsor a "virtual march" for immigration reform, which included a series of back-to-back events on Twitter and a Google Hangout with top political and business figures. Norquist also took part in the virtual march.
The tech industry has unleashed a fierce lobbying campaign in support of the Gang of Eight's immigration bill and a high-skilled immigration measure in the House by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Tech companies say they have struggled to fill technical job openings because of the current skills gap in the United States, so more green cards and visas need to be made available to highly skilled foreign workers.
Issa's bill would create a new green card program for entrepreneurs who have launched companies backed by investor funding. The program would set aside 10,000 green cards for entrepreneurs who have secured at least $500,000 from a venture capital firm or at least $100,000 from an angel investor.
— This post was corrected at 5:49 p.m. with updated information from Engine Advocacy