Mark Zuckerberg has made a name for himself in the past year or so as a member of the growing group of wealthy young idealists in Silicon Valley who give lots of money to community organizations. He’s not known for being particularly political. But rumors are popping up this week that Zuckerberg is working on a Super PAC that will focus on immigration reform.
Few details have been confirmed, but there are plenty of rumors. The San Francisco Chronicle cites sources who say that "the group is bringing on Jon Lerner, the Republican strategist who founded Maryland-based Red Sea LLC and who is behind the conservative Club for Growth. Joining him will be ultra-conservative GOP consultant Rob Jesmer, a former strategist with Texas Sen. John Cornyn and the National Republican Senatorial Committee." Other sources told Politico that Democratic strategists will also be onboard.
There is, of course, a selfish reason why Zuckerberg might want to get involved in immigration reform. As the CEO of one of the most prominent tech companies in the world, he knows the value of attracting international talent. Restrictive immigration laws hurt Zuckerberg’s business.
So this doesn’t necessarily mean that Mark Zuckerberg is about to become a political heavyweight. But the Facebook founder has ramped up his giving recently—$100 million to Newark, New Jersey, schools and $500 million in Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. And Politico’s source says that the new advocacy organization will have "an initial focus on comprehensive immigration reform." That means it could easily expand to other issues in the future. We’ll be watching.