When President Donald Trump announced in September that his administration would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, hundreds of the world's most influential business leaders spoke up. Over 400 CEOs, founders and business leaders signed a letter urging Trump to preserve the DACA program and protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, known as "dreamers."
Today, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos underscored his support with a $33 million donation to an organization that provides scholarships for dreamers.
TheDream.Us, a nonprofit working toward college access for dreamers, announced that Bezos and his wife MacKenzie's donation will fund 1,000 scholarships. Since dreamers are not eligible for federal financial aid, donations like Bezos' are particularly valuable.
"My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan," Bezos said in a statement. "He landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. With a lot of grit and determination — and the help of some remarkable organizations in Delaware — my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways."
To qualify for the DACA, dreamers must register with the government, pass multiple background checks and pay taxes. Over 97 percent of the 800,000 dreamers are in school or the workforce and many serve in the armed forces. President Trump has given lawmakers until March 5th to craft a new immigration plan, but Congressional Democrats and Republicans are still at an impasse.
This week, Bezos and 100 other business leaders co-signed a letter to Congress calling for immediate legal relief for dreamers. "The imminent termination of the DACA program is creating an impending crisis for workforces across the country," states the letter.
Here is what eight other powerful CEOs have said about the importance of defending dreamers:
Congress must act immediately to allow Dreamers to stay. This should be priority # 1 given the confusion and stress ending DACA will cause.— Aaron Levie (@levie) September 5, 2017
This is an update of a post that appeared previously.
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