Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has put together an immigration pressure group entitled fwd.us. A week ago Politico recounted Zuckerberg aide Joe Green's memo:
Under a section called “our tactical assets,” the prospectus lists three reasons why “people in tech” can be organized into “one of the most powerful political forces.”
“1: We control massive distribution channels, both as companies and individuals. We saw the tip of the iceberg with SOPA/PIPA.
“2: “Our voice carries a lot of weight because we are broadly popular with Americans.
“3. We have individuals with a lot of money. If deployed properly this can have huge influence in the current campaign finance environment.”
This week, Zuckerberg op-edizes in the Washington Post:
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Immigration and the knowledge economy
By Mark Zuckerberg, Published: April 10
Mark Zuckerberg is founder and chief executive of Facebook and co-founder of Fwd.us.
Earlier this year I started teaching a class on entrepreneurship at an after-school program in my community. The middle-school students put together business plans, made their products and even got an opportunity to sell them.
One day I asked my students what they thought about going to college. One of my top aspiring entrepreneurs told me he wasn’t sure that he’d be able to go to college because he’s undocumented. His family is from Mexico, and they moved here when he was a baby. Many students in my community are in the same situation; they moved to the United States so early in their lives that they have no memories of living anywhere else.
These students are smart and hardworking, and they should be part of our future.
This is, after all, the American story. My great-grandparents came through Ellis Island. My grandfathers were a mailman and a police officer. My parents are doctors. I started a company. None of this could have happened without a welcoming immigration policy, a great education system and the world’s leading scientific community that created the Internet.
Today’s students should have the same opportunities — but our current system blocks them.
We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants. And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.
The economy of the last century was primarily based on natural resources, industrial machines and manual labor. Many of these resources were zero-sum and controlled by companies. If someone else had an oil field, then you did not.
There were only so many oil fields, and only so much wealth could be created from them.
Today’s economy is very different. It is based primarily on knowledge and ideas — resources that are renewable and available to everyone. Unlike oil fields, someone else knowing something doesn’t prevent you from knowing it, too.
It's not like the bad old days when some robber baron would get a monopoly and squeeze his workers. Thus, today, not just Facebook but also MySpace, Friendster, and Google + are all flourishing. What's good for Mark Zuckerberg is good for all Americans.
In fact, the more people who know something, the better educated and trained we all are, the more productive we become, and the better off everyone in our nation can be.
This can change everything. In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country. A knowledge economy can scale further, create better jobs and provide a higher quality of living for everyone in our nation. ...
That’s why I am proud to announce FWD.us, a new organization founded by leaders of our nation’s technology community to focus on these issues and advocate a bipartisan policy agenda to build the knowledge economy the United States needs to ensure more jobs, innovation and investment.
These leaders, who reflect the breadth and depth of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial culture, include Reid Hoffman, Eric Schmidt, Marissa Mayer, Drew Houston, Ron Conway, Chamath Palihapitiya, Joe Green, Jim Breyer, Matt Cohler, John Doerr, Paul Graham, Mary Meeker, Max Levchin, Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi.
On the new fwd.us webpage entitled "Our Supporters," there are additional names of more tech heavyweights: Bryan Chesky, Chris Cox, Reed Hastings, Chad Hurley, Josh James, Max Levchin, Joe Lonsdale, Andrew Mason, Dave Morin, Elon Musk, Hadi Partovi, Alison Pincus, Mark Pincus, Keith Rabois, Hosain Rahman, David Sacks, Eric Schmidt, Kevin Systrom, Padmasree Warrior, and Fred Wilson.
That's three dozen names.
Has anybody else noticed that not a single one of those surnames is Spanish?
Silicon Valley is so non-Hispanic that Zuckerberg couldn't even come up with some Conquistador-American to stick on his "Our Supporters" page.
Maybe he should make friends with Eduardo Saverin again?
How many people have noticed that there are virtually no Hispanic tech wizards in Silicon Valley?
The San Jose Mercury-News had to sue to extract the diversity data from big Silicon Valley firms. They found what merely eyeballing the endless business coverage of Silicon Valley ought to suggest: virtually no blacks or Hispanics make it big there.
Of the 5,907 top managers and officials in the Silicon Valley offices of the 10 large companies in 2005, 296 were black or Hispanic, a 20 percent decline from 2000, according to U.S. Department of Labor work-force data obtained by the Mercury News through a Freedom of Information request.