Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has donated $5 million to a scholarship fund for undocumented immigrants, Yahoo News is reporting.
Thedream.us is a scholarship clearinghouse for DREAMers — that is, children of undocumented immigrants — started by former Washington Post publisher Donald Graham. Other donors, besides Zuckerberg, include The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation, David Bloomberg’s philanthropic foundation, Democratic National Committee Chairman Henry Munoz, and George W. Bush Administration Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, according to Breitbart.
In a Facebook post (because how else would Mark Zuckerberg make an important announcement?), Zuckerberg referred to the challenges facing the children of undocumented immigrants.
“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. If we help more young immigrants climb the ladder to new opportunities, then our country will make greater progress.”
Children of undocumented immigrants face a variety of challenges just getting into college at all, much less paying for it. Even something as mundane as a social security number — a required field on just about any college application — is out of reach for the children of undocumented immigrants. Others fear that giving too much information about themselves and their families may expose their families to the risk of deportation.
Zuckerberg has made immigration a part of his political and philanthropic efforts, according to Politico. The multi-billionaire poured millions of dollars into FWD.us, an advocacy group with a goal toward reforming immigration policies.
“We support comprehensive immigration reform, improving the quality of American education, and encouraging more investment in scientific innovation. To do so, we bring together a diverse group of organizers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. By mobilizing supporters through local chapters and online advocacy, we enable them to engage their elected leaders and win transformational policy changes.”
Zuckerberg says he hopes his donation will help at least some children of undocumented immigrants get an education that will help them in careers in technology.
[Image courtesy of: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan]