Mark Zuckerberg Supports DAPA and Stands Up For Immigration Reform

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Those who keep up with immigration matters are aware that the Supreme Court of the United States is set to hear the case about Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).

The program is meant to remove the threat of deportation of undocumented parents who have a child that is either a US citizen or legal permanent resident and meet certain additional requirements. It’s an expansion of the more successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has given work permits for young adults that have been in the country for 5 years or longer, since before 2010, and have no violent crimes in their records.

Clearly the immigrant and progressive communities support DAPA because they see it as a way for undocumented immigrants to obtain work permits, be less afraid of the threat of deportation, and partake in society. But the immigrant community also has other supporters, such as Mark Zuckerberg and others in the tech industry.

Mark Zuckerberg Founded FWD To Support Immigrant’s Rights

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In 2013, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg created FWD.us, a consortium of people in the tech industry that came together to support education, to lobby for more funding in sciences, and immigrants rights. The group also includes Bill Gates, and Aditya Agarwal, Vice President of Engineering at DropBox, among others.

The FWD group states that they support immigration reform so that talented immigrants can contribute to the knowledge economy and stated their support for DACA when it came out. FWD.us also supported the Immigration Innovation Act, which would have allowed foreign students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) industries to make it easier to contribute in these fields in the US.

This week, Zuckerberg went a step further in his support for the immigrant community. Obtained exclusively by Fusion, the brief reads,Instead of inviting the economic contributions of immigrants, our immigration enforcement policies have often inhibited the productivity of U.S. companies and made it harder for them to compete in the global marketplace.” It was also signed by other business leaders such as the mitú Network—a tech company that targets Latinos, CEO of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, and Mark O’Neill, current CTO of Jackthreads and former CTO of Thrillist Media Group. On their web page, FWD.us also made it possible for supporters to sign a petition that adds their name in support of this brief.

Instead of inviting the economic contributions of immigrants, our immigration enforcement policies have often inhibited the productivity of U.S. companies and made it harder for them to compete in the global marketplace.” -Mark Zuckerberg

The 71-page brief points out that the threat of deportation limits the contributions immigrants can make to the US, and that it hurts American businesses. It also discusses how these threats harm the American economy. In the brief, there are stories by undocumented immigrants, citations of studies conducted by the Pew Research Center, and papers by the Bipartisan Policy Center. Even the U.S. Department of Labor included a statement.

Related Content: Zuckerberg spreading the knowledge economy

Because of this brief, Zuckerberg is now the most well-known figure in the tech industry to support these executive orders. The fight for DAPA will not be without its challenges. 26 states sued against the executive order and are determined to fight to keep DAPA from ever coming to fruition. Even FWD.us has faced criticism over the years because some believe its immigration advocacy favors more educated immigrants, and the businesses who are a part of this group have benefitted from the work of immigrants who were paid less than their US-born colleagues. The tech industry isn’t alone in its support for immigrants rights. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have also signed briefs in support of DAPA.

It is expected that SCOTUS will have its hearing on DAPA on April 18 of this year and rule on the case in June.


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