Immigration Activists Go Virtual With Social Media Leading the 'March'

Other groups, including the NAACP and Service Employees International Union, announced in January that they would hold a big immigration rally April 10 on Capitol Hill. These groups did not have wide-reaching movements in 2006 or 2007.

For Mike Maples, a managing partner of FLOODGATE, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm, movement toward implementing comprehensive immigration laws are encouraging for companies like his.

"I do a lot of work at Stanford and we had Ph.D. students coming to this country for several years … and our antiquated immigration system didn't let them stay," Maples said. "I've been trying to make a difference for quite some time but the political context is now finally coming together."

So why not just hold an actual rally? Maples said that watching the success of online movements for legislation like SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (the PROTECT IP Act) shows how much stronger technology is than just a physical protest.

"What we've learned in Silicon Valley is that you have to emphasize your strengths," Maples said. "We seem to have the ability to rally people at mass using our technological platforms."

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