Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg is starting an issues advocacy organization with executives from other companies that will initially focus on immigration reform. The group will be bipartisan and also work on other long-term economic issues.
Zuckerberg and other executives in the technology industry support immigration policies that help businesses attract and retain international talent. Some U.S. immigration laws make it difficult for technology companies to recruit skilled workers because of the visa requirements involved, which Silicon Valley companies say makes no sense. They argue that these workers, many of them educated at U.S. universities, should be able to remain in the country to work for American companies.
Zuckerberg, a 28-year-old billionaire, has largely stayed out of the political sphere until now, and has made very few political contributions. In February, he hosted a fundraiser for Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and he has donated to the Facebook political action committee. Zuckerberg hasn't publicly discussed the advocacy organization, but one source says he has pledged $20 million to the cause.
The other executives, who include Zuckerberg's Harvard roommate Joe Green, are working with a bipartisan group of consultants. Republican strategist Jon Lerner, who started the Club for Growth, is involved as well. Some have criticized involving someone with such hard -right views, but other say if the group hopes to garner bipartisan support from Congress, it must include members from both parties. The group is likely to be a non-profit.
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