Facebook Creator Mark Zuckerberg to Create 'Welcome.us' Group to Showcase Immigrant Success Stories
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and his allies are creating a group that will highlight immigrant success stories. The non-profit group will be called Welcome.us.
Zuckerberg and his partners know that it is unlikely that an immigration reform bill will pass Congress this year. Because of this, many immigration activists are trying to appeal directly to President Obama to get changes.
Welcome.us wants to create positive images of immigrants. They will show their positive contributions on the U.S.
"Our goal is to encourage as many Americans as possible to tell their own welcome story," said Tolu Olubunmi, a Nigerian-American immigrant activist who was tapped as the group's executive director. "Our history and stories will help determine our future - at Welcome.us, we want everyone here to be a part of that effort."
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives probably won't vote on a bill but Welcome.us is developing as many backers to their cause as they can. Frank Sharry, who is not involved with Welcome.us, says that getting backers to "win the cultural argument that's at the heart of the issue" is important.
"It's hard for people to get to the right place on policy if they don't like the people that are being talked about," said Sharry, executive director of the advocacy group America's Voice. "The idea of seeing more immigrants as 'us' creates more space and intensity for supporting policy change."
June will be designated "Immigrant Heritage Month" by Welcome.us. They plan to hold events and tell stories about immigrant success and history.
"The United States has a proud history of welcoming immigrants; it's part of what defines the greatness of our country," Joe Green, chairman of Welcome.us and a co-founder of FWD.us said in a statement. "Welcome.us celebrates that history - as well as our present and future - as a nation fueled by immigrants from around the world."
Zuckerberg was first involved with FWD.us, another immigration reform cause in 2013. Now, he's doubling his efforts.
Included in Welcome.us are newly appointed board members that include singer Michael Bolton, undocumented activist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas and actor Jared Leto.
"No matter where they were born, (these students) are going to be tomorrow's entrepreneurs and people creating jobs in this country," Zuckerberg told an audience last summer. "These are issues that don't just touch our part of the industry, but really touch a whole country."
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