Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin emigrated to Singapore last year to avoid paying exorbitant taxes on his fortune. This is notable because his former business partner, Mark Zuckerberg is now dabbling in politics in order to push immigration reform in the United States. The recent political move is designed to attract skilled laborers to Silicon Valley.
In a letter addressed to President Obama earlier this month, Zuckerberg joined the ranks of more than 100 fellow tech executives urging the president to pass immigration reform legislation, arguing that the, “current immigration system is outdated and inefficient.”
The letter also expressed ardent support for the Immigration Innovation Act, which would increase the number of H-1B temporary work visas, and the Startup Visa Act, which will allow a foreign entrepreneur to receive a two-year visa with the backing of a U.S. investor.
This letter served as a precursor to Zuckerberg’s latest startup, an issues advocacy organization, which focuses heavily on immigration.
The organization’s primary goal is to advocate for legislation, which will free up more green cards for immigrants who have advanced degrees in technology. The organization will also back the creation of a more simplified path to citizenship for recent graduates from American universities.
Zuckerberg’s advocacy organization is drawing attention on both sides of the aisle, enlisting support from Republican and Democratic consultants such as Joe Lockhart of the Glover Park Group, Jon Lerner who has a record of working for GOP candidates, and the former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Rob Jesmer.
Immigration reform is one of the few bipartisan issues. Contrary to popular belief, immigration is good for the economy. Statistically, immigrants pay more into the system through taxes than they take from the government with welfare benefits and other services. If done well, comprehensive immigration reform can bolster the economy by creating jobs, generating greater tax revenue, and driving growth.
The U.S. has a history of opening its doors to immigrants across the globe, which has preserved America’s reputation as the great melting pot capable of integrating the best foreign traditions into American culture. Thousands of companies were started in the U.S. by immigrants including eBay, Google, Yahoo!, and PayPal. Surely these naturalized entrepreneurs have had a positive effect on the U.S. economy.
If the work that this SuperPac has already done is any indicator of what’s on the horizon, it will undoubtedly be a success. By joining the likes of fellow entrepreneurs with a broad array of opinions, Zuckerberg’s political aspirations will be unstoppable.