Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos donate $33M scholarship grant for DACA students

Jeff Bezos Donates $33 Million To Scholarship Fund For'Dreamers Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person in the world
Sherri Watson | 13 January, 2018, 08:59

Munoz and Donald Graham, chairman of Graham Holdings, KSAT's parent company, are co-founders of TheDream.US, along with Carlos Gutierrez, of Miami, a former USA secretary of commerce.

Though the timing may be coincidental, Friday's news caps off a busy week for USA immigration policy: The Trump administration announced the end of Temporary Protected Status for almost 200,000 people from El Salvador; a federal judge in California ordered Trump to keep DACA protections in place until lawsuits against its rollback are resolved; and the president caused public outcry after he reportedly decried protections for people from "shithole countries" like Haiti and El Salvador.

In the statement, Bezos noted that his father came to the us from Cuba when he was 16, and that he wanted to help "today's Dreamers" with the donation to the scholarship program. "We're a three-and-a-half-year-old program, so we don't yet have graduation rates", said Candy Marshall, president of TheDream.US. "With a lot of grit and determination... my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways".

In September, President Trump moved to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, putting 700,000 young immigrants at risk of deportation. "MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today's Dreamers by funding these scholarships". Others include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Pershing Square Foundation; the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Pierre and Pam Omidyar; the Robin Hood Foundation; The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation; the Ford Foundation; the PepsiCo Foundation; the Coca-Cola Foundation; and Don, Bill, and Steve Graham. DACA was an executive order signed by former President Barack Obama in 2012 that granted some protections for qualifying undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. He was among 100 corporate leaders who sent a letter to Congress this week calling for the program's renewal.

He said that, despite the uncertainty, he encourages DACA recipients to apply for the scholarships.

Bezos is a frequent target of Trump, who has accused the businessman of purchasing The Post to advance his business interests. "Second, Dreamers, you do have an opportunity to access higher education". At the time of publication, Bezos is worth $108 billion.

TheDream.US, the country's largest scholarship program for Dreamers, says that Dreamers are unable to receive state aid in 44 states and are not entitled to federal grants and loans.