Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook CEO and 29-year-old billionaire publically announced his support for comprehensive immigration reform in America at an event geared towards building momentum for immigration reform among members of the House of Representatives on Monday night. The event featured the debut screening of Undocumented, a documentary created by immigration reform activist Jose Antonia Vargas. Until last night, Zuckerburg had not made any public declarations regarding his political stance on the issue of immigration.
Zuckerburg’s reasons for supporting immigration reform stemmed from both his personal and professional experiences. He remarked, “someone did a study and it showed half of tech companies are founded by immigrants” to demonstrate Silicon Valley’s need for comprehensive reform. In addition, he narrated his experiences tutoring young students, “I asked the kids what they were worried about” said Zuckerburg, “One raised his hand and said ‘I’m not sure I can go to college because I’m undocumented,’ it touched me.”
Immigration reform that creates a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants currently living in America illegally has been an issue Zuckerburg has taken on personally through advocacy endeavors in the past, though never in the spotlight until now. The website FWD.us was co-created between Zuckerburg and his Harvard University roommate, Joe Green with the intentions of pressuring Congress to pass comprehensive reform.