Billionaire Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced that he will be donating $33 million to create college scholarships for 1,000 DREAMers — illegal immigrants brought into America by their parents.
Politico reports that Bezos, the billionaire CEO of e-commerce giant Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, will be donating $33 million alongside his wife MacKenzie Bezos to create college scholarships for illegal immigrant DREAMers. Bezos donation is being made to TheDream.US, a nonprofit group founded by the former owner of the Washington Post, Don Graham. According to TheDream.US website, the group is “working to help over 4,000 highly motivated DREAMers graduate from college with career-ready degrees. DREAMers are immigrant youth who came to this country at a very young age without documentation.”
Bezos donation is expected to cover scholarships for approximately 1,000 illegal immigrants who are currently still in the country under the Obama-era DACA policy. Bezos himself is the son of a legal immigrant, the Amazon CEO’s father arrived in the United States from Cuba at the age of 16. Bezos commented on his donation to TheDream.US saying “MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships.”
As the “Dreamers” as they’re known, are illegal immigrants, they are not eligible to receive financial aid from the federal government, TheDream.US aims to offer these students up to $33,000 in financial aid spread over four years of college study. Currently, the nonprofit group is funding approximately 2,840 illegal immigrants to study in the United States. Bezos has joined 100 CEO’s, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook, in signing an open letter to the government requesting an extension for DACA.
This is one of Bezos’ first forays into philanthropy, the CEO has donated to some causes in the past, at one point being honored by the Human Rights Campaign for donating $2.5 million to support marriage equality in Washington State in 2012, but overall his portfolio of charitable work is quite small. In June of 2017, Bezos took to Twitter to request suggestions from users on philanthropic efforts he should take part in. “I’m thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact,” stated Bezos.
Request for ideas… pic.twitter.com/j6D68mhseL
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 15, 2017