Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos donate $33M scholarship grant for DACA students

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos donate $33M scholarship grant for DACA students

On Friday, Bezos and his wife, author MacKenzie Bezos, donated $33 million to TheDream.US, an organization that funds scholarships for immigrants known as Dreamers who were brought to the USA illegally as children. Undocumented students are ineligible for federal financial aid, including grants for low-income students, and in some states they are also forced to pay out-of-state tuition at public colleges.

"My dad came to the USA when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan", said Jeff Bezos. In announcing the donation, Bezos talked about his father, who was unable to speak English when he arrived in the United States from Cuba as a 16-year-old. "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.

"MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today's Dreamers by funding these scholarships", he added. Almost 3,000 students are now part of TheDream.US program. We would invite anyone who questions the value of Dreamers to please come meet some of our students.

The donation comes as legislators and the White House struggle to come up with a deal to address the status of the young undocumented immigrants who could face deportation when DACA winds down, as ordered in September by President Trump, in March. The scholarship helps Dreamers who might otherwise be unable to afford college.

The first cohort of TheDream.US students will graduate from college in May.

Dreamers are now ineligible for federal grants and loans and receive no state tuition aid in 44 states. Currently, the nonprofit group is funding approximately 2,840 illegal immigrants to study in the United States.

Don Graham chairman of Graham Holdings Co., and co-founder of TheDream.US, added: "All of us would like to thank Jeff and MacKenzie". Numerous students who receive this aid wouldn't be able to attend college at all without the Bezos' generosity.

Bezos, the world's wealthiest man, has faced criticism in the past for not engaging in philanthropy at the same level as fellow multi-billionaires like Bill Gates.

Other donors to TheDream.US include Bezos' parents Miguel and Jackie, Pierre Omidyar, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Foundations, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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