Mark Zuckerberg is on a mission to reform U.S. immigration policy. The Facebook co-founder has announced the official launch of FWD.us, a political advocacy group that aims to foster technology innovation and entrepreneurialism. News of the group was first reported late last month by the San Francisco Chronicle.
In an opinion piece today in the Washington Post, Zuckerberg recalled a young student he was mentoring as part of an entrepreneurship program who said he probably won't be able to attend college because his family moved to the U.S. from Mexico, and he is undocumented. "We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants," Zuckerberg wrote. " And it's a policy unfit for today's world. "
Founding FWD.us with Zuckerberg are LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, among several other tech leaders. The group says it plans to work with Congressional leaders, the Obama administration and state and local officials to support policy changes.
Zuckerberg outlined three of the group's objectives:
- Comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, provides a path to citizenship and helps the U.S. attract skilled workers, no matter where they were born.
- Higher standards and accountability in public schools, support for good teachers and a greater focus on teaching science, technology, engineering and math.
- Investment in breakthrough discoveries in scientific research and assurance that the benefits of the inventions belong to the public.
FWD.us will be led by Joe Green, entrepreneur-in-residence at Menlo Park, Calif.-based investment firm Andreessen Horowitz, who will serve as president. Rob Jesmer, the former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, will serve as the group's Washington, D.C.-based campaign manager, focusing on political operations.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment, saying only that FWD.us is a "personal project" and separate from Facebook. Representatives from FWD.us did not immediately return a request seeking comment.
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