On Thursday night (Aug. 31), billionaire Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a defense of Dreamers, immigrants who were brought into the US illegally as children. That’s because US president Donald Trump is threatening to scrap Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program more commonly known as “DACA,” that allows those children to live and work without punishment.
In his post, Zuckerberg called for “a government that protects Dreamers.” Almost immediately, rebukes poured in from some of his more than 95 million Facebook followers. And Zuck waded into the comments.
On the path to citizenship:
On Dreamers who study science and tech:
It is, generally speaking, ill-advised to get into political debates with strangers on the internet. Zuckerberg, however, is in the unique position of having an entire team of people to help manage his social media presence. As Bloomberg reported earlier this year, there are Facebook employees who help pen Zuckerberg’s posts and delete spam and harassment from the comments on his page. Facebook team members also shoot his videos and snap casual but polished photos that can be deployed to his followers. Zuckerberg’s average Facebook post gets tens of thousands of shares and hundreds of thousands of “likes.”
Silicon Valley leaders have emerged this year as some of the most vocal critics of Trump’s immigration policies, and Zuckerberg was the first to speak up. He has also hired former Hillary Clinton pollster Joel Benenson to advise his and wife Priscilla Chan’s philanthropy efforts, and embarked on a tour of all 50 US states, prompting speculation that he may be considering a presidential run in 2020.
Yesterday, Zuckerberg was among the nearly 400 corporate executives who signed a letter to Trump and key members of Congress calling for DACA to be preserved. “At least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees,” the letter states. “Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.”