Jeff Bezos writes big check to help 'dreamers'

Marco Green
January 13, 2018

The donation is the largest in the organization's history and will fund 1,000 college scholarships.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Friday that he would give $33 million in scholarship money to undocumented students who are in the USA under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the policy at the center of a roiling immigration battle between the Trump administration and Democrats. TheDream.Us claimed in a statement that the funds would give 1,000 undocumented immigrants with DACA status the opportunity to attend college.

2,850 students are now enrolled in different colleges as part of TheDream.US scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition, fees and books.

Jeff Bezos' parents founded the Bezos Family Foundation, a philanthropy organization focused on charitable giving to education.

Graham launched TheDream.US with Henry Muñoz III, the finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee, and Carlos Gutierrez, who served as commerce secretary under President George W. Bush. 2,850 are now enrolled.

"MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today's Dreamers by funding these scholarships", Bezos said in a statement.

The Dream.US is the largest scholarship for Dreamers, partnering with 70 low-priced colleges and providing $33,000 per student to cover the cost of higher education.

Bezos, who overtook Bill Gates previous year to become the world's richest man, has been openly urging the government to reauthorize the DACA program.

"My dad came to the US when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan", Bezos said. "My dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways", Bezos said.

Dreamers are now ineligible for federal grants and loans and receive no state tuition aid in 44 states.

Dreamers who are enrolled in college under TheDream.US receive $33,000 in scholarship aid over four years. It 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.

The program is less than four years old so there are no graduation rates yet.

"It helps others in a position to act (like members of Congress) to see the commitment of people in this country to let Dreamers work here and have access to an education", she said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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