Mark Zuckerberg’s pro-migration group, FWD.us, is using its influence in President Joe Biden’s White House to save Zuckerberg’s immigration agenda from Biden’s border policies.
The influence was highlighted on May 14 when Biden met with several migrants who were given work permits by President Barack Obama’s 2012 DACA directive. The six migrants were led by Maria Praeli, who works as the government relations manager for the many wealthy investors in Zuckerberg’s FWD.us group.
Biden echoed FWD.us’ 2021 amnesty strategy in a statement after meeting Praeli and the other migrants:
Today, President Biden met with six DACA recipients who work in health care, education, and agriculture to discuss their experiences on the frontlines of the pandemic. President Biden reiterated his support for Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and other essential immigrant workers.
Last week I had the chance to meet with Dreamers in the Oval Office. These young people are part of the fabric of our nation and vital to our future.
Congress needs to pass the U.S. Citizenship Act and create a path to citizenship for Dreamers, farm workers, and TPS holders now. pic.twitter.com/c3nBdO6elO
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 16, 2021
That meeting was followed by a provocative statement from the press secretary — “DACA recipients are … kind of what the American Dream represents” — but got little Friday evening attention in the establishment media.
But that limited publicity is just fine with the White House, responded Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. He said:
The administration would like nothing more than to fully implement FWD.us’ agenda — but it is just that they have political concerns. They’re not stupid, they read the polls, they know that immigration is the President’s major weakness with voters.
[…] It’s a theatrical performance where they pretend to be reluctant and ambivalent while the outside groups like FWD.us push them [for more]. That serves both of their purposes because the administration gets to say [to voters]; “Look, we’re not crazy, we’re in the middle.”
The meeting is one example of FWD.us and its friends influencing Biden’s labor and migration policies, amid the animosity of many progressives towards Zuckerberg for Facebook’s pre-2021 refusal to muzzle then-President Donald Trump.
For example, Biden’s main immigration bill was introduced on January 20. It includes many changes championed by Zuckerberg and his wealthy coastal investors at FWD.us. Those changes include a rule allowing all employers to recruit an unlimited supply of foreign graduates with the dangled promise of green cards for a decade’s work. Similarly, Biden’s Department of Labor has blocked a Donald Trump-directed wage raise for visa workers that FWD.us opposed.
The blocked wage-raise reduces pressure on Fortune 500 companies to hire American graduates.
But Biden’s unpopular amnesty agenda has largely been swept aside by his unpopular border policy which opened the southern borders to a growing flood of economic migrants from Central America, South America, and other regions around the world. That border policy has created a humanitarian emergency in Mexico, and a rating crisis for him — despite the U.S. media’s eager focus on the smaller inflow of the left-behind children of illegal migrants — plus an easy excuse for GOP Senators to shrug off pro-amnesty pressure from their business donors.
Zuckerberg and other wealthy West Coast investors created FWD.us in 2013 to help to push the “Gang of Eight” amnesty and population-growth bill through Congress.
The group’s collective goals are simple: Pump up stock prices by importing extra consumers and workers, of whatever skill or age, regardless of the damage to the migrants’ home countries.
For example, the 2013 bill would have boosted many investors by delivering roughly 20 million extra consumers, workers, and renters. That inflow would have shifted many billions of dollars from wage earners to investors, according to a 2013 report by the Congressional Budget Office.
The investors push for their goals regardless of the damage to their political allies. For example, the 2013 push was an electoral disaster for Democrats, who lost their Senate majority after 2014 voters ejected five Democratic senators. Similarly, President George W. Bush’s two amnesty bills helped get his ratings below 30 percent.
Throughout President Donald Trump’s four years, the group’s funding and allied lawyers helped to slow and block many of Trump’s pro-American initiatives, including his plans to help American graduates win the many white-collar jobs that are now held by foreign visa-workers. For example, the FWD.us group led the campaign to save the DACA work-permit giveaway and won many state-level gains for the employers of illegal migrants.
The group spends heavily to promote the sympathy-inducing stories of pitiable migrants and minimize coverage of the huge economic distortions imposed on Americans by the federal government’s inflation of the nation’s labor supply and the demand for housing.
FWD.us reveals little about its management or spending. The group declined to answer questions from Breitbart News.
The board reportedly includes David Plouffe, the manager of Barack Obama’s historic 2008 campaign. Zuckerberg hired Plouffe as a political advisor shortly before President Donald Trump’s inauguration and gave him access to massive funding via the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. In 2020, Plouffe used Zuckerberg’s money to fund get-out-the-vote campaigns in many Democrat-dominated districts. That accomplishment may have reduced the widespread anti-Facebook mood among progressives during President Donald Trump’s four years.
The founders of FWD.us included investors Reid Hoffman, Sean Parker. and Ron Conway, who led advocacy efforts for Silicon Valley even before 2013. Until Biden was elected, Conway and Hoffman employed Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff.
Conway is now working with FWD.us member Sean Parker to spike housing prices by letting state governments and influential employers import foreign workers for jobs needed by Americans. Their proposal is also included in Biden’s January 20 immigration bill.
The deputy leader of FWD.us, Alida Garcia, sat on the steering committee for the progressive amnesty campaign. But she took a short-lived White House job in mid-March. The campaign announced March 19:
The group seems to have very close ties to Alejandro Mayorkas, the pro-migratio0n secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. FWD.us supported his nomination, and Mayorkas has since hired many migration activists from groups backed by FWD.us. For example, Mayorkas hired Lucas Guttentag, a pro-migration lawyer at Stanford and Yale whose anti-Trump project was backed by FWD.us.
Biden’s agencies are “loaded with [pro-migration] appointees from the various activist groups that FWD.us and other organizations fund and coordinate,” said Krikorian. “The White House is more cautious because it has to actually answer to the voters, and it has a broader agenda than just immigration.”
There have been few behind-the-scenes leaks from Biden’s White House, partly because Biden has hired far fewer D.C.-outsiders than did President Donald Trump. Biden’s core group of long-time staffers guard their boss and only leak vague descriptions of internal debates. For example, in April, media outlets struggled to understand Biden’s instant reversal after his staffers announced on April 16 the government would only accept 15,000 refugees in 2021.
But what is clear is that FWD.us and its allies sharply criticized the 15,000 decision as soon as it was announced, and before Biden reversed the policy:
At some of our best moments, America has been a beacon of hope and a nation that actively seeks to welcome those seeking refuge—and at some of our worst, we turned our back on those very people in their time of greatest need … today’s decision is not only morally wrong, but will make the forced migration situation from Central America worse.
We strongly urge President Biden to reverse this decision and commit to his prior promises to rebuild America’s refugee program.
FWD.us is rarely mentioned in the establishment media, despite its central role in labor policy, migration policies, and the amnesty debate.
When FWD.us does get mentioned, the coverage is very deferential. Few — if any — reporters are willing to identify the funders and purposes of the advocacy group.
Zuckerberg & his FWDus investors are funding many of the pro-amnesty groups doing street protests.
The funding is rational b/c the amnesty bills also inflate the population of consumers, renters, & blue- and white-collar workers. https://t.co/eF9iVlQBeW
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) May 6, 2021