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Facebook slowly wading into politics

Houston, Apr 12, 2013, (PTI) : 14:11 IST
Chief executive officers of some of America's top tech companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft have joined hands to champion the major issues surrounding United States immigration policy.

The group which Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls FWD.US, enables him to slowly wade into the politics and help America's undocumented immigrants along with pushing immigration reforms in the United States.

"We have a strange immigration policy which is unfit in today's world," Zuckerberg wrote in a Washington Post Op-Ed article yesterday.

The new group says it will lobby in Congress and White House along with using social-media tools to mobilise public support for immigration reforms, better schools and more funding for scientific research.

Along with Zuckerberg, the group's initial supporters are Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Yelp Chairman Max Levchin, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Zynga CEO Marc Pincus and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, along with influential venture capitalists Ron Conway, Jim Breyer and John Doerr.

Noting that US current economy is based primarily on knowledge and ideas, rather than the natural resources, industrial machines and manual labour of years past, Zuckerberg said the US needs to attract the most talented and hard working people. And many of them, he said, are foreign-born.

"Given all this, why do we kick out the more than 40 per cent of math and science graduate students who are not US citizens after educating them?" he asked adding
"Why don't we let entrepreneurs move here when they have what it takes to start companies that will create even more jobs?"

The Facebook co-founder is one of a growing number of high-profile figures to join the immigration debate, which brought thousands of people to a rally at the US capital and across the nation on Wednesday.

Senators working on a new reform bill are trying to strike a balance between competing interests, including business and labour unions, tech companies, religious groups and political constituents.

They are expected to introduce a draft bill next week that would update laws governing agricultural workers, low and high-skilled workers, border security and the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

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