The world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, just donated $33 million to educate Dreamers in honor of his immigrant father




 

Evan Vucci/AP



As members of Congress debate the future of a program that temporarily protects from deportation nearly 800,000 immigrants who were brought to the US as children, the world's richest man has delivered a strong message.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, and MacKenzie Bezos, his wife, are donating $33 million to TheDream.us, an organization that helps these immigrants, known as Dreamers, pay for a college education.

The money will fund the education of 1,000 Dreamers who have graduated from high school and are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which began under President Barack Obama and granted permission to legally work in the US.

But because Dreamers still live in a legal gray zone, some forms of paying for college, like government grants and student loans, are often unavailable to them.

Bezos said he donated in honor of his father, Miguel Bezos, who fled to the US from Cuba alone when he was 15. He later attended the University of Albuquerque and went on to work at Exxon as a petroleum engineer before meeting his eventual wife, Jackie Gise, the daughter of a high-level official on the Atomic Energy Commission.

"My dad came to the US when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan," Jeff Bezos in a statement explaining the donation. "He landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. With a lot of grit and determination - and the help of some remarkable organizations in Delaware - my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways. MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today's Dreamers by funding these scholarships."

Jeff Bezos' parents founded the Bezos Family Foundation, a philanthropy organization focused on charitable giving to education.

The Trump administration is phasing out the DACA program, but Congress has been at odds over what should happen to Dreamers set to lose their deportation protection status.

Republicans have insisted that a law codifying DACA would have to include increased funding for border security and a provision to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. Democrats oppose the wall, saying it would require billions of dollars of US taxpayers' money.

Bezos, who overtook Bill Gates last year to become the world's richest man, has been openly urging the government to reauthorize the DACA program. Bezos was one of 400 executives who signed an open letter to President Donald Trump in September and one of over 100 executives who signed another earlier this week urging Congress to pass a law to protect Dreamers.

NOW WATCH: Here are the best iPhone apps of 2017

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Ginni Rometty, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and other tech CEOs warn of 'significant costs' and 'disruptions' if Congress doesn't save the Dreamers by January 19

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump pulling out of pact that discounted foreign postal deliveries
Trump pulling out of pact that discounted foreign postal deliveries
  • US
  • 2018-10-17 20:11:58Z

The Trump administration will begin withdrawing from a United Nations pact that offered low rates for foreign postal deliveries of small packages in the United States, the latest move to challenge practices it sees as unfairly advantageous to China. White House officials said on Wednesday the United States would start the process of leaving the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a Switzerland-based organization that connects postal services worldwide. The White House said the UPU enables foreign postal services to take advantage of cheap shipments to the United States, creating an unfair cost advantage over U.S. companies that ship goods, and hurting the U.S. Postal Service.

U.S. greenhouse emissions fell in 2017 as coal plants shut
U.S. greenhouse emissions fell in 2017 as coal plants shut
  • US
  • 2018-10-17 17:33:15Z

Greenhouse gases emissions from the largest U.S. industrial plants fell 2.7 percent in 2017, the Trump administration said, as coal plants shut and as that industry competes with cheap natural gas and solar and wind power that emit less pollution. The drop was steeper than in 2016 when emissions fell 2 percent, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said. EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler said the data proves that federal regulations are not necessary to drive carbon dioxide reductions.

U.S. courts abruptly tossed 9,000 deportation cases. Here
U.S. courts abruptly tossed 9,000 deportation cases. Here's why
  • US
  • 2018-10-17 11:05:50Z

The notice to appear in court that Barrios had received in her deportation case hadn't specified a time or date for her first hearing, noting that they would be determined later. The Supreme Court case involved Wescley Fonseca Pereira, a Brazilian immigrant who overstayed his visa and was put into deportation proceedings in 2006. The Supreme Court ruled that paperwork failing to designate a time and place didn't constitute a legal notice to appear in court.

Amazon
Amazon's Bezos sees a future where most humans live in sp...

Amazon Founder & CEO Jeff Bezos told the audience at the WIRED 25th anniversary summit he believes there will eventually be a trillion humans in the solar system. And his company, Blue Origin, is looking to help.

Jeff Bezos defends Amazon taking defense contracts, even as Google and others shy away:
Jeff Bezos defends Amazon taking defense contracts, even as Google and others shy away: 'This is a great country and it does need to be defended' (AMZN, GOOG)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has defended his company's bids for US military contracts. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has defended his company's work with the American military, saying "this is a great country and it does need to be defended" - an implicit rebuke of Google over its decision to ditch

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.