Mark Zuckerberg took his biggest leap yet into politics this week with an impassioned Washington Post editorial in support of comprehensive immigration reform. The opinion piece kicked off the Zuckerberg-backed FWD.us political advocacy group, which includes plenty of big Silicon Valley names.
Although the Facebook founder and CEO has poked his head into the politics before—he helped organize a Facebook PAC and hosted a fundraiser for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—the launch of the advocacy group has been Zuckerberg's biggest move yet.
“We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants. And it's a policy unfit for today's world,” he wrote. “That's why I'm proud to announce FWD.us, a new organization founded by leaders of our nation's technology community to focus on these issues and advocate a bipartisan policy agenda to build the knowledge economy the United States needs to ensure more jobs, innovation and investment.”
The piece goes on to outline a new approach to immigration in the United States, calling for effective border security and paths to citizenship that attracts the best and brightest minds; higher standards and accountability in schools and a greater focus on math, science and technology; and investment in scientific research.
While Zuckerberg may be the biggest name attached to FWD.us, it certainly doesn't lack talent. Supporters include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Y Combinator’s Paul Graham.
What FWD.us plans to do next is unknown, but Politico reported that ad campaigns and grassroots organizing would be a big part of it. FWD.us established a Facebook page Monday, and by Thursday night it already had more than 16,000 fans. The page's cover photo is an image from Ellis Island, with the message “Join the tech community in passing immigration reform.”
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