Amazon’s Bezos to give $33M for 1,000 Dreamer scholarships

Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced Friday that they are donating $33 million to provide college scholarships for undocumented students who were brought to the country illegally as children.

The contribution by the couple is the largest ever to the TheDream.US, a nonprofit founded in 2014 by former Washington Post owner Don Graham.

The organization said that the money will provide scholarships to 1,000 undocumented students who are currently protected from deportation by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Donald Trump plans to phase out unless Congress acts.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are negotiating with the White House on a legislative deal to address the roughly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants who could face deportation when DACA winds down in March.

“MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships,” Bezos in a statement, noting that his father came to the U.S. as an immigrant from Cuba when he was 16 years old.

The undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive student financial aid from the federal government and most states. Through the scholarship program, they can receive up to $33,000 in aid over four years to help pay for college. The program said it currently funds 2,850 Dreamers.

Bezos is among the technology executives who signed letters calling on Congress to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Steven Overly contributed to this report.

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