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Why Mark Zuckerberg is getting political over immigration reform

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6 2013 3:59 p.m. MDT

In this Thursday, March 20, 2013 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The Facebook CEO spoke to 600 people Monday at an invitation-only screening of “Documented,” a new immigration-centric documentary.

Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

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Judging from the public comments Mark Zuckerberg made Monday night at a private movie screening in San Francisco, the Facebook CEO appears ready to make a big political push for immigration reform.

San Jose Mercury News reporter Matt O’Brien wrote, “The 29-year-old tech titan described his and Silicon Valley's immigration advocacy as more than a self-interested hunt for foreign tech workers — something, instead, that is rooted in a broader ethos to ‘do what's right.’ Among his causes is a pathway to citizenship for the nation's roughly 11 million immigrants here illegally. ‘This is something we believe is really important for the future of our country,’ Zuckerberg told (more) than 600 people.”

Zuckerberg addressed the audience prior to a screening of “Documented,” a new documentary about Jose Antonio Vargas, the Washington Post reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize before revealing to the world in 2011 he is an undocumented immigrant.

“The (Zuckerberg) event was also a pitch to House members — who have vacated the Capitol for the August recess — to keep up reform momentum,” Michelle Quinn reported for Politico. “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) attended, as well as Groupon founder Andrew Mason, Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway, M.C. Hammer and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.”

On the Washington Post’s politics blog, Ruth Tam wrote Tuesday that Zuckerberg’s political influence likely outweighs any financial contributions he could make to political causes: “Though Zuckerberg represents monetary wealth, his influence in the innovation field may end up being more valuable. In the past, Zuckerberg has hosted a fundraiser for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and a town hall with President Obama.”

Appearing Tuesday on Fox News Latino, White House director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz said President Obama fully intends to follow through on immigration reform once Congress reconvenes later this month.

“The consensus around immigration reform is incredibly strong,” Muñoz said. “It’s bipartisan. It has depth in community all around the country and I think lawmakers are going to be seeing this, this August.”

Zuckerberg previously waded into the immigration debate when he published an op-ed piece in the Washington Post announcing the formation of the advocacy group FWD.us.

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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