By Christine Dickason
April 11, 2013
Caption : Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has launched a political organization to advocate for policies that keep the United States competitive in the global economy.      

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Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has launched a political organization to advocate for policies that keep the United States competitive in the global economy. The group, Fwd.us, which will focus on immigration reform and education reform, is composed of leaders of in the tech community.

Zuckerberg announced the forming of the new group through an op-ed published in the Washington Post today. The op-ed calls for a new approach to immigration and education, including:

  • Comprehensive immigration reform that includes border security and a path to citizenship,
  • Higher levels of accountability in schools,
  • Increased focus on the subject areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in schools,
  • And greater investment in scientific research.

Fwd.us emphasizes that immigration adds to the U.S. and its economy. A study, “The Economics of Legalizing the Undocumented: What a Path to Citizenship Means for the U.S. Economy,” released by the Center for American Progress last month, supported this claim. It outlined the economic benefits of various immigration reform options and found that enacting immigration reform could bring a $1.1 trillion boost to the economy.

The organization also notes that many students are being trained in the U.S., but are then forced to leave upon graduation due to their citizenship status. This is especially true for students in STEM fields—in fall 2012, 57 percent of the students in U.S. graduate engineering programs were international students.

The announcement comes on the heels of the newly released NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that shows that almost two-thirds of Americans support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The poll also shows that a majority agree that immigrants strengthen the nation.

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