On Friday, the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, announced that he would donate 33 million dollars to a scholarship fund for young “dreamers,” immigrants brought to the United States as children.
Bezos was recently named the wealthiest person in the world. This donation coincides with talks on Capitol Hill discussing what will happen next to the “dreamers.”
The DREAM Act, short for “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors,” was inaugurated. There have been several versions of the bill since it was introduced in 2001, but none passed.
“TheDreamers” is the program to which Bezos is donating the scholarship. It has awarded more than 1,700 immigrants more than $19 million in financial aid since its launch in 2014.
The money that has been donated will help fund 1,000 college scholarships and is the largest donation yet.
In a statement announcing the donation, Bezos cited a story of his adoptive father who left Cuba as part of Operation Pedro Pan:
“He landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. With a lot of grit and determination and the help of some remarkable organizations in Delaware, my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways. MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships.”
“The donation is a shot in the arm for Dreamer students at a time when some are questioning whether they should be in the United States at all,” said Candy Marshall, president of the dreamers. “We would invite anyone who questions the value of Dreamers to please come to meet some of our students.”
The group previously received grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Inter-American Development Bank, Patty Stonesifer, and Michael Kinsley.
Trump said he has plans to get rid of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program back in March of 2017 unless Congress replaces it. The program has provided living rights for up to 700,000 Dreamers.
Bezos has been a popular name coming from Trump’s tongue. Trump accused Bezos of only buying The Washington Post to advance his business interests. Then, in late December, Trump called for the U.S. Postal Service to raise shipping rates that they already charge to Amazon in a deal that says it disadvantages the federal agency.
Bezos has not commented on the matter, but Amazon has defended its current USPS arrangements.
Bezos has done a great deed by donating to United States DREAMERS. Being the richest person in the world, his charitable acts are admirable. Maybe in 2018, there will be more opportunities for Bezos and other rich business people to give their money to more organizations.