Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have donated $5 million to help undocumented immigrants attend college, Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page
The donation is aimed at helping 400 youth in the Bay Area over the next five year through The Dream. US, a nonprofit founded in 2013 to provide scholarships to college-bound youth who came to the United states illegally as children.
“America was founded as a nation of immigrants,” says the Facebook chief. “We ought to welcome smart and hardworking young people from every nation and help everyone in our society achieve their full potential. If we help more young immigrants climb the ladder to new opportunities, then our country will make greater progress.
Zuckerberg’s announcement is meant to help bring publicity to TheDream.US, which has so far raised $25,000 for at least 3,000 students given legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established by President Barack Obama, according to its founder Donald Graham, former publisher of the Washington Post, since it was established in 2014. Former Secretary of Commerce and Republic Carlos Gutierrez and Democratic activist Henry Munoz III also founded the foundation with Graham and his wife Amanda Bennett.
Zuckerberg and his wife are the latest high-profile persons to donate to TheDream.US, but their donation is hardly the largest. Bill Ackman, investor at Pershing Square, donated $25 million, while Graham and his wife also given the same amount. From the technology industry, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda and Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, also donated undisclosed amounts.
Zuckerberg is known as a supporter of immigration reform and has, together with a number of prominent Silicon Valley figures including Bill Gates, cofounded FWD.us, which advocates for improved security at the borders, an electronic verification system for businesses, and an easier path for immigrants to receive citizenship.
He and his wife have also made million-dollar donations to various causes, including $75 million given to a public medical facility in San Francisco and $1 billion to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.