Mark Zuckerberg hosts DACA immigrants at his house, urges Congress to pass law protecting them

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday hosted three immigrants enrolled in the DACA program, for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Zuckerberg shared their stories with 1.1 million viewers on his Facebook page, pressing Congress to pass a law that would further shield such immigrants from deportation
  • President Trump on Tuesday said he would scrap the program, but gave Congress six months to come up with another solution
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted three DACA immigrants at his Silicon Valley home Wednesday, live-streaming their personal stories and pressing Congress to pass a law that protects them -- and 800,000 others -- from possible deportation.

The discussion, watched by more than 1.1 million people on Zuckerberg's own Facebook page, comes one day after President Trump's decision to rescind the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in six months.

Created by an executive order of President Obama in 2012, the DACA program has shielded U.S. immigrants who were brought to the country illegally by their parents.

The fact that these people exist in legal limbo is "an insane state for our country to be in," said Zuckerberg, who urged those watching to pressure members of Congress to find a legislative fix.

He challenged members of Congress to "show they can lead," one day after joining other tech leaders in condemning Trump's executive move.

"There are more than 2 million 'Dreamers,'" or immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and still reside here, he said.

Zuckerberg argued than any legislation should give those in the DACA program "a full pathway to citizenship" and "a guarantee of work status."

The three individuals -- one man and two women who were identified only by their first names -- sat on a couch in Zuckerberg's Palo Alto, California, home and recounted the stories of how their parents had brought them from Peru, Mexico and Canada, respectively.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosts DACA immigrants at his home in Palo Alto, Ca., Wed., Sept. 6, 2017
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosts DACA immigrants at his home in Palo Alto, Ca., Wed., Sept. 6, 2017

One woman, named Maria, told how her parents moved their family to the U.S. when she was five years old to seek medical care for a sister, who'd lost her leg after being hit by a car.

Since she'd arrived, the woman said she had gone to college and was now working on immigrants-rights issues for FWD.us, an advocacy group that is pushing for immigration reform and backed by Zuckerberg and other tech executives.

"I feel American, I am American, I only lack proper identification," said the woman. She added that living here as an undocumented immigrant means that, "even though you feel American, you have to plan for the possibility of being deported."

A man identified as "Tomas" told Zuckerberg his father had abandoned his family in Mexico and he was brought to America by his mother at the age of two. His mother subsequently died of cancer when he was six years old.

In spite of that start, the man graduated with a degree in kinesiology from California State University at Stanislaus.

"All we're asking for is a chance...I urge members of Congress to meet a Dreamer," he said.