Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie announced on Friday that they are donating $33 million in college scholarships to so-called DREAMers -- illegal immigrants who were given residence and work permits under the Obama-era Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The gift by Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Bezos is the largest ever to the TheDream.US, a nonprofit co-founded by former Washington Post owner Don Graham, who sold the newspaper to Bezos in 2013.

TheDream.US will give scholarships to 1,000 illegal immigrant students currently protected under DACA, which President Donald Trump plans to phase out unless Congress acts. Currently, members of Congress are in negotiations with the White House on producing legislation to deal with the approximately 700,000 young illegal immigrants who may face deportation when DACA winds down in March. The so-called DREAMers came into the country as minors.

In a statement, Bezos declared, “MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships.” Bezos noted that his father immigrated from Cuba when he was 16 years old.Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie announced on Friday that they are donating $33 million in college scholarships to so-called DREAMers -- illegal immigrants who were given residence and work permits under the Obama-era Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The gift by Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Bezos is the largest ever to the TheDream.US, a nonprofit co-founded by former Washington Post owner Don Graham, who sold the newspaper to Bezos in 2013.

TheDream.US will give scholarships to 1,000 illegal immigrant students currently protected under DACA, which President Donald Trump plans to phase out unless Congress acts. Currently, members of Congress are in negotiations with the White House on producing legislation to deal with the approximately 700,000 young illegal immigrants who may face deportation when DACA winds down in March. The so-called DREAMers came into the country as minors.
In a statement, Bezos declared, “MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships.” Bezos noted that his father immigrated from Cuba when he was 16 years old.

DREAMers are not authorized to receive federal financial aid. However, through TheDream.us, illegal alien students can receive up tp to $33,000 in aid over four years to help pay for tuition at any one of 70 partner institutions. The program said it currently funds 2,850 Dreamers.

The donation from Bezos comes after he and more than 100 CEOs, especially from the tech industry, signed an open letter to Congress asking for legislation to be passed no later than Jan. 19. That is the same date government funding expires under a stopgap spending bill. DACA has become tied to negotiations over government funding. 

Not being previously known for big donations, Bezos was honored last year for pledging ledged $2.5 million to the Human Rights Campaign in support of gay marriage efforts in Washington state in 2012. In June 2017, he wrote on Twitter: “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.” Bezos is counted as one of the richest men in the world, and a harsh critic of President Trump

DREAMers are not authorized to receive federal financial aid. However, through TheDream.us, illegal alien students can receive up tp to $33,000 in aid over four years to help pay for tuition at any one of 70 partner institutions. The program said it currently funds 2,850 Dreamers.

The donation from Bezos comes after he and more than 100 CEOs, especially from the tech industry, signed an open letter to Congress asking for legislation to be passed no later than Jan. 19. That is the same date government funding expires under a stopgap spending bill. DACA has become tied to negotiations over government funding. 

Not being previously known for big donations, Bezos was honored last year for pledging ledged $2.5 million to the Human Rights Campaign in support of gay marriage efforts in Washington state in 2012. In June 2017, he wrote on Twitter: “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.” 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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