Miley Cyrus Can Teach Us About Immigration Reform

About a year ago, Miley Cyrus tweeted the following: “Don’t waste the talents of undocumented youth. Tell Congress it is time for immigration reform.”

  • Congress has yet to listen to Miley Cyrus’ plea for immigration reform.
  • Currently she has 17.6 million Twitter followers.
  • So maybe they should pay attention on Capitol Hill.

Back in September 2013, I posted the following on my law firm Facebook: “Thought on Immigration Reform. Make Noise. Follow Miley Cyrus’ lead. She told 14 million Twitter followers that if her video set a record for views, she’d release her new song list. Her video broke 19 million views! DREAMers, Paying ATTENTION? Follow that lead!”

I readily admit to having no idea what this young woman does other than twerk.

Oh, and she used to be Hannah Montana.

And I do remember that her dad had a song that we all made fun of, back in the day  (Billy Ray Cyrus laughed all the way to the bank).

But plenty of folks ARE interested.

Look at the growth of her Twitter followers alone in 6 months.  Another 3.5 million fans have followed Miley Cyrus since her remarks on immigration reform.  Think that was just an accident?  Think again.

This type of movement is really pretty amazing.

If our politicians got it, we would already have immigration reform.  

But the Speaker of the House has little more than 600,000 Twitter followers.

And sure, The President has millions of Facebook fans but Miley Cyrus, a 21 year old pop star, has millions more than Obama.

What’s the bottom line?

Grass roots movements work.

Poll after poll shows huge support of immigration reform.

Our economy stands to gain.  Everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Willie Nelson, to Bill Gates to Shakira, to Robert Redford to REM, to Reid Hoffman, co-founder and CEO of LinkedIn, as well as the CEOs of Yahoo, Motorola, and Coca Cola are all in favor of immigration reform.

Congressman Paul Ryan recently stated: “To me, it’s not a question of ‘if’ we fix our broken immigration laws.  It’s really a question of ‘when.‘  “

The former Republican Vice Presidential candidate might want to throw in a line or two from “Wrecking Ball” next time.


Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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