Why this immigrant reporter didn't stay home for #DayWithoutImmigrants - Technical.ly Philly

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Feb. 16, 2017 12:58 pm

Why this immigrant reporter didn’t stay home for #DayWithoutImmigrants

A nation-wide effort called for immigrants to stay home today. Here's why I chose not to.
My flag.

My flag.

(Photo by Flickr user Cristóbal Alvarado Minic, used via a Creative Commons license)

I was watching three drones pilot themselves last night when I got a text from my boss with a proposal.

The pitch was simple enough: What if, in honor of #DayWithoutImmigrants (the nation-wide call for an immigrant strike today to protest recent immigration policies), we at Technical.ly held off on stories with my byline and instead ran a single item in support of immigrants?

My initial response was to say that maybe it would be better to use the platform to highlight immigrant-founded startups like this profile on Keriton I already had in the works. But before we could finish hashing out the convo and come to a conclusion, my phone died.

(Full disclosure: Both Technical.ly Editorial Director Christopher Wink and my interim editor Tony Abraham made it clear that this was ultimately my call.)

I started my trek home and, during the entire train ride, I kept going back and forth on the decision. Would I be thought of as a scab if I went about my day as if nothing had ever happened? Would holding back from filing stories come off as an out-of-line call for attention?

By the time I got home and plugged in my phone, I knew what the right decision was. I left Venezuela in 2015 so I could raise my voice freely for what I believe is right. So, in a day devoted to highlighting the importance of immigrants in America, my job is as important as it’s ever been.

That’s partly why you’ve seen this site keep such a close watch on immigrant founders, their efforts to protest and the tech community’s response to anti-immigrant rhetoric. That’s why local startups tackling immigration through technology (like Borderwise) have my attention.

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That’s also why today (and for the foreseeable future) I’ll remain here at my desk, listening to Venezuelan music, happily writing about you, Philly tech.

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