Internet entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are helping DREAMers in an important way: The couple is donating $5 million to TheDream.US, a scholarship fund for undocumented immigrants.
Zuckerberg, who has loudly supported immigration reform, announced the donation on Facebook (obvi!) on Wednesday.
“Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants are part of our communities and attend school legally in the United States,” Zuckerberg wrote on the social network he co-founded. “Many of them moved to America early in their lives and can’t remember living anywhere else. They want to remain in the country they love and be a part of America’s future. But without documentation, it’s often a struggle to get a college education, and they don’t have access to any kind of federal aid.”
It’s true. While there currently isn’t a federal law preventing admission of undocumented college students, these young folks are prohibited from receiving federal financial aid, making college an unattainable dream for many. In fact, according to the UCLA Labor Center, only five to 10 percent of undocumented students make it to college due to a lack of available financial aid, despite more than 60 thousand undocumented students graduating from U.S. high schools each year.
Zuckerberg, who founded FWD.us, a lobbying group hoping to provide a "pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants," in 2013, said that his and Pricilla’s donation will help create college scholarship programs for more than 400 undocumented youth in the San Francisco Bay Area over the next five years.
“This is just a small step towards creating immigration and education solutions that help our community and country make progress,” Zuckerberg, 31, said.