On Monday, I blogged about Mark Zuckerberg’s immigration reform group, which had not been launched. The group was launched yesterday (Thursday, April 11, 2013), and most of the details were as expected in my previous blog post. The group is called FWD.us and has an eponymous website. The roster of supporters on the website reads like a who’s who of the tech industry Here are links to some news and commentary items related to the group that were published at and after launch:
- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Immigration and the knowledge economy, a Washington Post op-ed about the planned group.
- Zuckerberg And A Team Of Tech All-Stars Launch Political Advocacy Group FWD.us by Josh Constine for TechCrunch.
- Zuckerberg Launches A Tech Lobby, But What Will It Do Differently? by Gregory Ferenstein for TechCrunch.
- Looking back to predict what FWD.us means for tech and immigration by Alexander Furnas for the Sunlight Foundation website.
- Why I have issues with Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us by Om Malik for GigaOm.
Here’s a quote from Zuckerberg’s op-ed that reveals his vision for the immigration-related agenda of the group, and just how far it is from an open borders vision:
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.
Some of the reactions from different people whom I’ve discussed this with include (note that some of the reactions are mutually contradictory, indicating the diversity of people I’ve discussed this with):
- Zuckerberg’s op-ed is boilerplate text, i.e., it reveals nothing specific, and could be widely re-used for any future direction of the group.
- Zuckerberg’s use of an overtly citizenist framing for the group’s ambitions is interesting, though not necessarily uplifting. The competitive angle to Zuckerberg’s citizenism is even more unfortunate, though he does pay lip service to migration not necessarily being a zero sum game.
- Zuckerberg’s selectivity — attract the most talented and hardest-working people — suggests either a degree of selectivity even higher than that found in the modern immigration regime in the United States, or a serious degree of delusion regarding just how many potential migrants could be the “most talented” and/or the “hardest-working people.”
- Zuckerberg’s putting securing the borders at the top of his agenda is puzzling.
- Zuckerberg’s focus on a path to citizenship suggests a territorialist focus, which does not seem to resonate well with the open borders message. It’s not in conflict with complete open borders, but could conflict with some keyhole solutions such as guest worker programs.
Hopefully, we’ll publish more on this group and on other related initiatives as we get more information.
UPDATE: Here is a more detailed post from Nathan with his criticisms of Zuckerberg.