On Wednesday, Facebook co-founder and immigration reform advocate Mark Zuckerberg claimed that comprehensive immigration reform was not as polarizing an issue as people have claimed.
Appearing on CNN, Zuckerberg asserted he started his advocacy group, FWD.us, to support comprehensive immigration reform even though some were worried it would be a problem for Facebook’s image. Facebook would presumably benefit as a company if the number of H1-B visas are increased in a reform bill.
“There are 11 million undocumented people who came here to work hard and contribute to the country, and I don’t think it’s quite as polarized as people always say,” he said.
Zuckerberg’s advocacy group has poured millions into changing public opinion on the matter. Zuckerberg will also meet with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who had been the face of comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate, at Facebook headquarters on Wednesday. Though Zuckerberg claims immigration reform is not polarizing, Rubio has been relatively silent on the issue since the Gang of Eight bill passed in the Senate while his approval ratings among conservatives and Republicans plummeted.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and others who wrote the immigration bill acknowledged they were losing the public opinion battle and enlisted big-business groups in order to persuade as many as 100 Republicans to vote for immigration reform bills that wold ultimately allow the House to conference with the Senate.
“I can’t really tell anyone how to legislate. I mean that’s–everyone understands this stuff way better than I do,” Zuckerberg said. “My goal in this is just to try to help support folks who care deeply about getting this done, on both sides, and hopefully we can make a difference.”
Zuckerberg’s FWD.us group reportedly aimed to raise nearly $50 million to make that difference and push comprehensive immigration reform across the finish line.