Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to be joining the fight for immigration reform and is ready to put money into the effort.
POLITICO reported on Sunday that Zuckerberg is partnering up with other executives to form an independent expenditure group that will begin by pushing for comprehensive immigration reform. The 28-year-old billionaire had been staying out of politics to run his company until now.
Sources told POLITICO that Zuckerberg and the other tech executives involved with the efforts to form the group have sought the help of Democratic and Republican strategists to create the group. Eventually, the executives plan to use the advocacy group to push for economic issues as well.
“Leaders are coming together on a broader agenda,” a person familiar with the conversations told POLITICO. “It’s not necessarily company driven.”
Zuckerberg has already pledged about $20 million to the advocacy group, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which was the first to report on the formation of the group. One source also told the San Francisco Chronicle that the Facebook CEO has also convinced others to pledge as much as $2 million to $5 million each.
Also involved with the group’s formation is Joe Green, co-founder of NationBuilder and Causes. He was Zuckerberg’s roommate at Harvard University.
Facebook’s Zuckerberg also pushing for immigration reform to address high-skilled workers
Zuckerberg’s new venture comes more than a week after a group of nearly 30 technology executives traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for immigration reform.
They met with President Barack Obama and members of Congress to call on them to approve legislation this year that would reform the nation’s high-skilled immigration system.
The executives also wrote a letter to Obama and congressional leaders, asking them to “enable a more open and flexible U.S. immigration system to embrace highly-skilled workers.” The letter was signed by more than 100 technology executives, including Zuckerberg.
In the letter, the executives wrote: “One of the biggest economic challenges facing our nation is the need for more qualified, highly-skilled professionals, domestic and foreign, who can create jobs and immediately contribute to and improve our economy. As leaders of technology companies from around the country, we want to thank you for your sincere efforts in addressing high skilled immigration and we urge that you and your colleagues enact reform legislation this year.”