Zuckerberg, Illegal Immigrant DREAMers Will Code Together in FWD.us 'Hackathon'
The advocacy group formed by Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg to promote comprehensive immigration reform will hold a "hackathon" with illegal immigrant "Dreamers" next month in an attempt to shine a bigger spotlight on the issue.
FWD.us, Zuckerberg's group that has employed consultants from Washington's bipartisan ruling class to establish a footprint in Washington, will team up with famous coders for the event. Zuckerberg himself will be one of the participants.
Dropbox's Drew Houston will be another coder at the event, which will reportedly address "the problems within our immigration system." LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman will host the hackathon at his company's Mountain View, California headquarters on November 21 and 22.
Fwd.us president Joe Green said his group would work with the the "Dreamers" to "get the projects up and running.
"There's been a lot of delay and too little action coming from Washington this month. We hope that momentum coming from our hackathon — and the technology it creates — can help move immigration reform forward," Green reportedly said.
FWD.us formed with the goal of raising $50 million to pressure lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform and has pledged to run ads for lawmakers in their reelection efforts if they support such legislation. Zuckerberg met with congressional leaders last month and has spoken publicly in Washington and San Francisco about how a "Dreamer" at an after-school program he taught in a low-income neighborhood in Menlo Park, California inspired him to sway the opinions of the public and influential lawmakers on the issue.
The battle over immigration reform may intensify now that the federal government has re-opened. President Barack Obama urged Congress to pass comprehensive immigration before the government shutdown ended and immediately after the federal government re-opened last week. He even indicated he felt the legislation could be passed this year.
House Republicans are reportedly working on piecemeal legislation with the goal of eventually conferencing with the Senate, which earlier this year passed an immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship. Proponents and opponents of immigration reform have indicated if the House and Senate conference on immigration reform, a pathway to citizenship provision will most likely prevail in the final bill.