The South Asian Times

11 December 2018 10:31 AM

Jeff Bezos donates $33 mn to fund undocumented college students

By IANS

San Francisco, Jan 13: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, the world's largest online book retailer, and his wife, MacKenzie, are donating $33 million in scholarship to fund 1,000 undocumented immigrant students, a scholarship fund has announced.

The scholarship fund said, TheDream.US, which is the country's largest scholarship programme for Dreamers, will give the grant, the largest sum ever awarded in the organisation's history, to 1,000 undocumented immigrant graduates of US high schools with DACA status to help them continue to pursue their college education, Xinhua reported.

Dreamers often refer to a group of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children and were protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, an immigration policy established by former US President Barack Obama in 2012 to shield them from deportation.

US President Donald Trump revoked the programme in September 2017, but his disputed decision was blocked by a US district judge in San Francisco on January 9.

TheDream.US, which is partnering with more than 70 low-cost colleges in 15 US states, offers individual students $33,000 in scholarship aid over four years to help them cover the cost of tuition, fees and books.

Currently, "2,850 students are enrolled in college under the programme," the fund said in a statement on Friday.

"My dad came to the US when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan," the fund quoted Bezos as saying.

The Amazon CEO said he "landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. With a lot of grit and determination -- and the help of some remarkable organisations in Delaware -- 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 is the richest person in the world with a total net wealth of $108 billion as indicated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index released on Friday.

Since 2012, 800,000 undocumented immigrants have received DACA status.

However, the White House and Congress are battling it out over the future of DACA that President Trump has been keen on its revocation.

Update: 13 Jan, 2018

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