Mark Zuckerberg is Facebook’s CEO and co-founder, and has taken a big political stance in recent weeks over an immigration reform he wants to pass through, with the help of other technology friends and lobbyists. He wrote an extensive post on the Washington Post about how he finds the immigration laws in US hurt the economy, and how we are not living in a world of oil, gas and natural resources but a “knowledge economy”.
He started off by talking about an entrepreneurial class he was teaching, and how one of his top students could not go to college because he was undocumented. The kid is from Mexico and moved over here when he was very young, and Zuckerberg believes he should have the same chance of education and jobs as US citizens do, a statement which has drawn a split between people.
Many citizens of the United States believe jobs should be for the citizens before immigrants, and as we see the economy go into a more dire shape we see more hate being thrown on immigrants “stealing” workers jobs. The problem for many is finding out if immigrants are really stealing the jobs, or if they are just more qualified and have a better will to do the job.
The same problem is happening in the UK and around the world. Immigration is one of the biggest subjects worldwide, with some countries accepting more immigrants with open arms and others stopping a lot from coming into the country. A report was published in the UK a few months back, detailing how immigrant workers were actually looking for jobs UK citizens didn’t want to do, essentially they were filling the gap in the economy.
Zuckerberg is co-founder of FWD.us, an organisation that wants the US to reform its immigration and educational system, to make sure the country stays competitive against other rivals. The team is built from many very noteable faces in the technology world, including:
- Drew Houston – CEO and founder of Dropbox
- Ruchi Sanghvi – Vice President of Operations at Dropbox
- Reid Hoffman – co-founder of LinkedIn
And has some very well known contributors:
- Reed Hastings – CEO and founder of Netflix
- Max Levchin – co-founder of PayPal and Chairman of Yelp
- Marissa Mayer – CEO of Yahoo
- Dave Morin – CEO and co-founder of Path
- Elon Musk – CEO of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Motors
- Eric Schmidt – ex-CEO and Chairman of Google
- Kevin Systrom – co-founder of Instagram
All these people are bound together by technology, and though they may be rivals in that field, they are allied in their fight to change the immigration and education laws in the US.
What FWD wants
The movement would see immigration laws reformed to allow standout students from other countries stay to earn scholarships and would allow entrepreneurs, medical staff and other well educated oversees workers stay in the US.
It would also see the educational system change so more is done to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and math. These are very core skills in our generation, and everyone should be able to learn them with clever teachers.
The last would be to improve scientific research and make open and documented discoveries for everyone, not just for a few scientific areas. This would be the new revolution in free science, which has been behind closed doors for years now.
All this seems very helpful to the economy, but many would argue it will damage the US. With immigrants coming in and taking the good jobs away, it may hurt the opportunities of the citizens of America. Then again, these jobs may never be filled if it wasn’t for immigrants.
The path is very jagged, but FWD.us seems to be focused on getting these issues into Congress and passed. With such a huge force backing Zuckerberg and the founders of FWD.us, it may be hard to stop them getting the laws passed. We just wonder where Bill Gates is on all this, considering he is so vocal when it comes to education.