Is Zuckerberg Lobbying for Immigration Reform?

A large group of tech executives are lining up to push for legislation that makes the borders more permeable for foreigners and future citizens. Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Mark Zuckerberg is among them, believing that the foreign talent in technology fields can improve the country and economy.

Zuckerberg is a co-founder of Fwd.us — read “forward us” — which is the political group pushing for the immigration policy changes. Comprising the group and its financial contributors are chief executive officers from LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), Space X and Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), as well as some venture capitalists, Dropbox’s Ruchi Sanghvi, and president and founder Joe Green, who also founded Causes.com.

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According to Zuckerberg in an op-ed written for Washington Post, the current immigration policy in the U.S. is “a policy unfit for today’s world,” and “today’s economy is very different” from that of the time when the immigration policies were being put into place.

He believes that people are an increasingly important resource, and that the current policies keep intelligent and innovative people out of the country. He asked, “why do we kick out more than 40 percent of math and science graduate students who are not U.S. citizens after educating them?” The belief is that allowing those students to stay and work in the country would lead to improvements in the industries the enter and increases jobs as more entrepreneurs could start businesses in the U.S…

The Senate is expected to come out with a new immigration bill soon, and the group behind Fwd.us is very interested in seeing the legislation allow better pathways to citizenship to “attract the most talented and hardest-working people” from other countries.

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Though numerous high-profile companies are involved in the movement, it’s not clear if there could be any direct impacts on them. If successful, there could be industry and economy wide impacts as more immigrants would be allowed to come to the U.S. and start innovative businesses, assuming things go as planned by Zuckerberg and others.

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