September 2nd 2016 was a very special day. It was the day that the movie For Here or To Go? had a special private screening at the Rayburn House Building- one of the Buildings where Congressmen have their offices.
Fresh off the heels of the announcement of International Entrepreneur Rules, this movie screening was so timely. The private screening was attended by staffers, lawyers, lobbyists and other influencers. We were especially grateful that the White House Assistant Director of Entrepreneurship Doug Rand attended in person. We were also delighted that Senator Tim Kaine’s office was represented. While Sen. Kaine is now candidate for Vice President, he was one of the original co-sponsors of the Startup Visa.
A huge thank you goes to my very own Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) who co-operated in holding the event. The Congressman’s office went above and beyond in helping with the event, for which we are so grateful. We were also able to partner with Unshackled Ventures, an organization that recognizes the invaluable contributions of international entrepreneurs and has been at the forefront of the issue. And lastly, we wouldn’t have had refreshments without the generous support of FWD.us and it’s president Todd Schulte. In addition, two of my colleagues Joel Paget, immigration lawyer in Seattle and Sonal Verma in Washington DC both gave incredible support and encouragement in holding the event.
Rishi Bhilawadikar, Writer and Producer of the movie, Rucha Humnabadkar the Director, myself (I am the ‘advocacy consultant’) and the entire team are grateful to everyone who helped make this special event a reality. We hope that further collaborations arise so that the plight of the startup founder/entrepreneur and the high-skilled immigrant in the US is understood in a holistic way. We further hope that this movie continues to be a vehicle towards understanding that will bring immigration reform.
If you want to hold a private screening or want to donate to help with film distribution in theatres (they are still fundraising!), let me know and I will get you connected!
After our screening, Rishi and I had the privilege of attending a reception at the CATO institute where we had the distinct pleasure of meeting immigration policy extraordinaire Alex Nowrasteh!
Here are some photos from the event- enjoy! (sorry that some of these photos are sideways, I can’t seem to straighten them up!)