Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has pushed for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, calling the issue “one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time.”
In an ABC News interview that aired on Sunday, Zuckerberg explained that he had helped to found the group Forward.us after an undocumented immigrant child in an afterschool program said that he probably was not going to be able to go to college.
“When you meet these children who are you know, really talented, and they’ve grown up in America and they really don’t know any other country besides that, but they don’t have the opportunities that we all enjoy, it’s really heartbreaking right?” he explained. “And it seems like it’s one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time.”
He pointed out that there were a lot of misconceptions about the 11 million immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally.
“[A] lot of them came here because they just want to work. They want to help out their families and they want to contribute. We definitely should make it so that they can, so that there’s a path for them to come into the country legally as well,” Zuckerberg insisted. “The future of our economy is a knowledge economy. And that means that getting the most talented people into this country is the most important thing that we can do to make sure that the companies of tomorrow are founded here.”
“I’m fundamentally an optimistic person, as an entrepreneur,” he added, regarding the gridlock in Congress. “The vast majority of Americans want this to happen. We have to push forward, it needs to happen.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Nov. 24, 2013.