Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Friday injected himself into one of the most contentious political debates in the United States, announcing that he and his wife had donated $33 million to a college scholarship program geared toward young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The press release also states that Bezos's donation was the largest that the organization ever received.
The money will fund 1,000 college scholarships, TheDream.US said in a statement.
A number of tech companies and executives have voiced support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The Dream.US provides $33,000 per student in scholarship aid to help pay the cost of tuition, fees and books over four years. But DACA status does not make them eligible for federal grants and loans, nor state aid in 44 states. 2,850 students are now enrolled in college under the program, according to the foundation.
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The organization now works with more than 70 low-priced colleges across 15 states. Trump repeatedly said that border wall funding had to be a part of the deal for it to continue.
Candy Marshall, president of TheDream.US, said in a statement. 94% return to their college after the first year; the national average is 72%. Bezos is providing the 1,000 students with full scholarships.
Bezos' donation comes as immigrants with DACA are feeling heightened anxiety and insecurityover losing their permission to stay in the US and work.
And Trump has been placed on the defensive about his comment during an Oval Office meeting that people from "high crime" or "s***hole countries get to come" to the United States. Others include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Pershing Square Foundation; the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Pierre and Pam Omidyar; the Robin Hood Foundation; The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation; the Ford Foundation; the PepsiCo Foundation; the Coca-Cola Foundation; and Don, Bill, and Steve Graham.