Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced in a Facebook post that they will be donating $5 million to TheDream.US, a scholarship program to aid undocumented students who wish to get an education in America.
31-year-old billionaire and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hopes to help students achieve associate or bachelor’s degrees so they can advance in careers that boost the nation as a whole, writes Latino Fox News. He believes that this is in the tradition of the American Dream, and that it is our responsibility to provide a safe haven for immigrants seeking to improve their lot in life, according to Jakob Nielsen of the Apex Tribune.
Zuckerberg said in his post:
Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants are part of our communities and attend school legally in the United States. Many of them moved to America early in their lives and can’t remember living anywhere else. They want to remain in the country they love and be a part of America’s future. But without documentation, it’s often a struggle to get a college education and they don’t have access to any kind of federal aid.
America was founded as a nation of immigrants. We ought to welcome smart and hardworking young people from every nation, and to help everyone in our society achieve their full potential.
Over the coming years, our hope is to prepare hundreds of students to graduate with associate or bachelor’s degrees so they can build meaningful new careers.
TheDream.US was founded by the former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez in 2013, and using Zuckerberg’s donation they will be giving tuition assistance to 400 students in the San Francisco Bay Area. The charity aids students who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival status (DACA), a policy instated by President Obama three years ago that allows those who have been in the US since their childhood to avoid deportation and to continue to work and study in the US.
Zuckerberg is an advocate for immigration reform, calling it the “biggest civil rights issue of our time,” and launched FWD.us to encourage leaders in the technology field to support immigration, according to Inae Oh of Mother Jones. Sumayah Aamir of I4U News writes that he also backed a group letter sent to President Obama that opined that the immigration process is too complicated for the average person.