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Zuckerberg launches lobby, urges immigration reform

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new political action group he is spearheading Thursday to press for reforms in areas including immigration and education.

"To lead the world in this new economy, we need the most talented and hardest-working people. We need to train and attract the best. We need those middle-school students to be tomorrow's leaders," Zuckerberg said in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post.

The group called FWD.us was created amid an intense debate on Congress on immigration, with lawmakers considering a "path to citizenship" for some 11 million undocumented immigrants, as well as measures to boost the number of immigrants with high-tech skills.

Zuckerberg said he supports a measure which accomplishes both those goals.

"Comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, allows a path to citizenship and lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born," he wrote.

The new group's founders include others from the tech sector, including LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Dropbox chief Drew Houston and John Doerr, from the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Contributors include Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Yahoo! chief Marissa Mayer, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Brian Chesky, chief executive of Airbnb, and Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.

Zuckerberg said the tech sector understands the needs of an economic adapting to new information technology.

"As leaders of an industry that has benefited from this economic shift, we believe that we have a responsibility to work together to ensure that all members of our society gain from the rewards of the modern knowledge economy," he wrote.

He said the group will urge "comprehensive immigration reform that begins with effective border security, allows a path to citizenship and lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born."

Additionally, it will seek "higher standards and accountability in schools, support for good teachers and a much greater focus on learning about science, technology, engineering and math."

Thirdly, he said the group will press for "investment in breakthrough discoveries in scientific research and assurance that the benefits of the inventions belong to the public and not just to the few."

The president of the group will be Joe Green, a longtime Zuckerberg friend who founded the group Causes.com. FWD.us will have offices in Silicon Valley and Washington.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130411/zuckerberg-launches-lobby-urges-immigration-reform