Facebook CEO joins Filipino journalist in pushing for immigration reform

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Aug. 6, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – Wearing his trademark hoodie, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke publicly for the first time in favor of immigration reform, disputing the notion that he and other Silicon Valley leaders are just trying to secure visas for high-tech workers.

“This is something that we believe is really important for the future of our country and for us to do what’s right,” the 29-year old billionaire said.

Zuckerberg and his former Harvard roommate, Joe Green recently founded the organization Fwd.us and have been advocating for a pathway to citizenship for about 11 million undocumented immigrants.

He made his remarks at the debut screening of “Documented” before several hundred attendees, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
The film depicts the life and struggle of journalist and activist, Jose Antonio Vargas, the most well-known Filipino undocumented immigrant in America.

Zuckerberg considers him a good friend.

Vargas, who founded an immigrant rights group, Define American, has toured the country, telling people his story and the stories of millions who only want to stay in a country they call home.

“I told him not to lose hope. Immigration reform will pass,” said Vargas’ grandmother, Leonila Salinas.

Patricia Hyland, Vargas’ former school principal believes lawmakers should come together and pass a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants.

“They’re not criminals,” she pointed out.

Vargas said Define American seeks to determine the definition of what an American is.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m an American. I’m just waiting for my country to recognize it,” he said.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

7 Comments on this post.

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  • jorge buesa
    8 August 2013 at 12:33 am - Reply

    ComeOn , Patricia Hyland if your a undocumented immigrant, you are a criminal, you broke the law in America ? I’m right or wrong ! So I think you should watc what you say !

  • jorge buesa
    8 August 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Vargas said define, American seeks to detemine the Definition of, what an American is ? I feel the answer is, someone don’t broke the American laws, and a person was born in America ! I’m right or wrong ?

  • what???
    8 August 2013 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    @jorge- Americans or non-americans breaks laws as we speak. An american is a citizen of this country by either birth or naturalization. Would you not called the naturilzed citizens Americans??? If so, why are we granted an American Passport if we are not Americans???

  • jorge buesa
    8 August 2013 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    What??? – America is the “Land of Freedom” Not the land of free handouts ! I feel sorry for those people that don’t have it as good as i have it. But, I don’t want to lower my standard of living, just to give them everything they want !

  • jorge buesa
    8 August 2013 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    What ??? – If we don’t stop these undocumented immirgrants from comming into America, soon our country will be No Better than the One they Left !

    • what???
      9 August 2013 at 6:28 am - Reply

      @jorge – I speak in defense of my fellow Filipino undocumented people as well as those from other countries that arrived here through airport borders. Jorge, you ought to remember that they came here with proper documentation granted by consular offices in their countries, its just that when arrive here, INS really has no control after they arrive here. They are pretty much given a visa to stay in america for as long as they want, although in reality that’s not the case because they could only stay here for a given period of time. So, Jorge, for you and to the many who keeps saying that illegal immigration should be halted, you are also asking the consuls and the state department to stop issuing visitor visas as these visitors from other countries across the ocean are also part of the many illegal immigrants living in this country.

      • what???
        9 August 2013 at 6:30 am - Reply

        Take note Jorge, that I am not undocumented but what I mean to say is I speak in defense of my fellow Filipino people that has no green card. I am an american citizen and actually waited 17 years for my visa to become current.