August 7, 2013
Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t often weigh in on politics and policy, but he has made his feelings on immigration reform very clear. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took his first step on the national political stage Monday night when he joined publicly with tech leaders, civil rights activists and undocumented immigrants to call for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration policies – an issue he said touches not just Silicon Valley but “the whole country.”
“This is something that we believe is really important for the future of our country – and for us to do what’s right,” the social media innovator told a crowd of several hundred at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Zuckerberg has also been working behind the scenes through his controversial political lobby, FWD.us, which has sought to create political cover for conservatives who may support immigration reform in theory, but who fear electoral backlash if they announce their support. FWD.us’s tactics have included buying TV and radio ads for politicians touting their conservative credentials on unrelated issues (including gun control and the Keystone XXL pipeline), which had the obvious effect of alienating progressive organizations. By speaking at Monday’s event, which was co-sponsored by Jose Antonio Vargas‘s charity Define American, which takes a much more diplomatic and sympathetic approach to the issue, Zuckerberg may be backing off of the political hardball in favor of first trying to change hearts and minds.
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