Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Friday he will support students protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program with $33 million in scholarships.
Bezos and wife MacKenzie’s donation will fund 1,000 scholarships — since the program’s “Dreamers” are not eligible for federal financial aid.
“My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan,” Jeff Bezos 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 organizations 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. MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships.”
The organization Bezos donated to, TheDream.us, partners with low-cost colleges in 15 states to help 800,000 DACA recipients pay for college.
“Our students are highly motivated and determined to succeed in college and in life. We’re a three-and-a-half-year-old program, so we don’t yet have graduation rates,” Candy Marshall, president of TheDream.us, said.
Other donors to the initiative include Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Pershing Square Foundation; the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Pierre and Pam Omidyar; the Robin Hood Foundation; The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation; the Ford Foundation; the PepsiCo Foundation; the Coca-Cola Foundation and Don, Bill and Steve Graham.
“Everyone who believes in education and is a friend of the Dreamers would like to thank Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos for this magnificent gift,” Marshall added. “It is a shot in the arm for Dreamer students at a time when some are questioning whether they should be in the United States at all.”
Bezos and 100 other business leaders co-signed a letter to Congress last week calling for legal relief for DACA members after President Donald Trump announced his administration would end the program.
Indictment: Russians Influenced Minorities To Vote For Bernie Sanders or Not Vote
Hidden in the indictment of the 13 Russian Nationals is a point that may go unnoticed. The indictment says that, among other things, the group of Russian Nations “through their organization began to encourage US Minority Groups not to vote” or to “vote for third party candidates.”
They had used Facebook to buy ads that backed Bernie Sanders and his platform even after his presidential campaign had ended, according to a person with knowledge of the ads. They even created a coloring book ad on Facebook called “Buff Bernie,” filled with “very attractive doodles of Bernie Sanders in muscle poses.”
It added that “I’ve recently heard some hateful comments from the Hillary supporters about Bernie Sanders and his supporters” — language aimed at stirring up the kinds of intra-party divisions that would later flare after the first release of Russian-hacked Democratic Party documents during the summer of 2016.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wants to Ban Police Having Sex with Prisoners
One would assume that this was already illegal, but it turns out in the State of New York police can bang their prisoners. Under a new proposal New York state would make it illegal for police officers to have sex with people in their custody.
Current law bars sex between correctional officers and inmates, but it doesn’t apply to police and people in their custody. In theory, Police Officers can legally go into a cell and have sex with a prisoners.
“There must be zero tolerance for sexual abuse and harassment across the board, and especially among those in positions of authority,” the Democratic governor said in a statement announcing his support. “This common sense reform closes an egregious loophole and helps protect against abuse in our justice system.”
The effort comes after two New York City police detectives were charged with handcuffing and then sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman in Brooklyn last fall.
Another Republican Loses in Heavily GOP District
A small swath of southwest Florida captured the attention of the country Tuesday night as Democrats and Republicans battled over a lowly state House seat in a symbolic struggle over the country’s political future.
By night’s end, Democrat Margaret Good had waltzed into Trump territory and trounced James Buchanan, the son of a GOP congressman, to take the special election for Florida’s House District 72. But the ballot might as well have read Republicans vs. the Blue Wave.
Despite the low literal stakes of the election — a nine-month term in a chamber of the Florida Legislature where Republicans hold a near super-majority — Republicans and Democrats treated the Sarasota district like a proxy for the midterm congressional elections.
Democratic donors from as far away as California cut checks to Good, an attorney, and former Vice President Joe Biden recorded a robo-call for her. For the Republicans, Gov. Rick Scott helped, and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski parachuted into the Gulf Coast Sunday to lead a Republican rally.
The results, the latest in a minority party surge that has seen the party swing dozens of legislative seats across the country since Trump stunned Democrats in 2016, have the minority party riding high about their prospects heading into November.