Zuckerberg debates immigration with Facebook commenters

Mark Zuckerberg waded into the immigration debate this week with commenters on Facebook while rumors continue that the Facebook founder is preparing to run for political office. 

Zuckerberg debated the possibility President Trump will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with commenters on a Thursday Facebook post.

In the post, Zuckerberg reiterated his support of retaining the program, which defers deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

“We need a government that protects Dreamers,” he wrote, using a term for people who would benefit from the DREAM Act, legislation similar to DACA that has not passed Congress.

“Today I join business leaders across the country in calling on our President to keep the DACA program in place and protect Dreamers from fear of deportation.”

{mosads}The DACA program protects from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Recent reports indicated that Trump could nix the program by the end of this week.

Facebook users immediately began to weigh in.

“If they have been here for so long how come they have not done the work to become CITIZEN’S,” one user wrote.

Zuckerberg responded: “Carl: there is currently no pathway for undocumented immigrants to become citizens while living here. I’ve mentored a student who would like nothing more than to get his citizenship and maybe run for office one day, but he currently has no way to do that.”

He continued to respond to users, arguing fiercely for the program.

“For these Dreamers, the only crime they were a part of was being brought here by their parents,” he wrote in response to another user claiming that Dreamers broke the law. “It was not their decision. America is the only country they’ve ever known, and they work hard every day to contribute to our economy and community. Yes, we have laws and we must fix our immigration system, but we must also be proportionate in our response to infractions. Ruining these young people’s lives by deporting them or forcing them to live in fear is not the just path forward.”

Zuckerberg is not the only Silicon Valley titan who has voiced their support for keeping DACA. Executives from Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Uber have also spoken out.

This week, a group of business leaders wrote an open letter calling on Trump to extend the Obama-founded program. The letter claims that at least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies currently employ DACA recipients.

“Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions,” according to the letter.

Trump has also faced backlash from his GOP allies Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.). Both urged the president not to end DACA.

Fox’s Geraldo Rivera criticized the president’s potential move on Friday morning, saying that if the program is revoked “then the all of the false statements up until now, false statements about the cruelty of Donald Trump will be true.”

Tags Donald Trump Orrin Hatch Paul Ryan

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