In this Jan. 15, 2013 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The expansion of H-1b visas is considered the first major victory for Zuckerberg's new non-profit lobbying organization, FWD.us, which receives financial backing from such big tech names as Bill Gates of Microsoft, Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and Napster pioneer Sean Parker. (AP)
- Dec 9:
- Legislador en EEUU apoyará visas para inmigrantes
- Nov 12:
- Activistas ayunan por reforma migratoria EEUU
- Oct 11:
- Piden más asilo mexicanos provenientes de "Tierra Caliente", muchos son procedentes de Michoacan
- Sep 13:
- Reforma migratoria impactaría economía de todo Colorado
- Aug 29:
- EEUU: Ex gerente admite que contrató a migrantes
- Aug 28:
- EEUU: Reforma migratoria da esperanza a familias
- Empresarios abogan por reforma de inmigración
- Aug 26:
- Bennet, Gardner see different paths to immigration reform
- Aug 3:
- Rostros por la reforma migratoria
- Aug 1:
- Coffman aborda la reforma ante hispanos en iglesia de Aurora
- Coffman pulls away from rest of Colorado GOP on immigration
- Jul 23:
- Republicanos contra legalizar a padres de "dreamers"
- Jul 18:
- Reforma migratoria atascada en el Congreso
- Jul 8:
- Former President Bush says immigration-reform bill can pass
- Jul 7:
- 2 years after immigration laws, Georgia and Alabama stable
- Senadores del Gang de los Ocho cuentan sus historias
- Jul 6:
- Hispanos contra inmigración ilegal son muy poquitos
- Jul 5:
- Udall y Bennet, senadores de Colorado, piden apoyo a la reforma migratoria
- Arduo Camino hacia la reforma migratoria
- Jul 1:
- Senate passes Sen. Marco Rubio's gamble
- Jun 27:
- Senado votará en histórico proyecto de reforma migratoria
- Senate passes historic immigration bill
- Jun 18:
- DREAM Act: Para los "dreamers" se abren nuevos horizontes
- Jun 12:
- Border security at issue in immigration bill
- Jun 5:
- EEUU: Escepticismo tras debatir reforma migratoria
- Senate immigration bill undergoing changes to gain more GOP support
- May 23:
- Critican en Cámara baja proyecto migratorio Senado
- Poll: Most back 'path to citizenship' in immigration legislation
- Connecticut's House of Representatives approves drivers licenses for immigrants
- May 22:
- EEUU: Comisión de Senado avala reforma migratoria
- Senate panel approves immigration bill
- May 16:
- Advocates tout immigration reform in Aspen
- May 8:
- Colo. House passes immigrant licenses
- May 1:
- Colorado pone fin a norma antiinmigrante
- Apr 24:
- Congressional immigration debate signals big shift
- Apr 18:
- Vegas family spotlighted in immigration reform
- Apr 17:
- Criticism of immigration bill from left and right
- Apr 12:
- Reforma migratoria llega al ring
- Apr 11:
- Comité del Senado aprueba licencia para inmigrantes, falta el si de la cámara alta
- Jornaleros en la mira de la reforma migratoria
- Apr 7:
- Declarar impuestos será requisito en caso de una reforma migratoria
- Apr 4:
- Tropieza licencia de conducir para inmigrantes en Colorado
- Mar 29:
- Reforma Migratoria: las 'Dreamers Moms' se mueven por sus hijos
- Mar 28:
- Mark Zuckerberg, creador de Facebook impulsa reforma migratoria
- Mar 27:
- McCain, other US senators to tour Mexico border
- Mar 23:
- Senators close in on immigration deal
- Mar 20:
- Reforma migratoria: Radio KPFK 90.7 FM de Los Angeles hablará en español
- Mar 14:
- Udall: Podemos pasar una reforma migratoria este año
- Mar 9:
- Aprueban en Colorado matrículas bajas a migrantes
- Mar 8:
- Colorado immigrant tuition rate gets final approval
- George Prescott Bush podría acercar a hispanos y republicanos
- Mar 7:
- Highway changes for undocumented immigrants are in the works
- ¿Qué es una "frontera segura"?
- Mar 6:
- Senate Republicans sell immigration plan to House
- McCain promueve reforma de inmigración
- Mar 4:
- Juntos pero no revueltos: 'dreamers' y activistas
- Mar 1:
- What does a 'secure' border look like?
- Feb 28:
- Evangélicos promueven reforma migratoria
- Feb 27:
- Republicanos abiertos a naturalización inmigrantes
- DHS official resigns after immigrants are freed
- Republicanos modifican estrategia sobre migración
- Feb 26:
- Colorado GOP shows shifting immigrant tuition stance
- Undocumented farm workers to D.C.: A little would do a lot
- Feb 25:
- McCain prevé en México reforma migratoria en EEUU
- Feb 22:
- Propuesta migratoria priorizaría empleo sobre familia
- Feb 21:
- Green cards for sale from U.S. developers
- Labor, business reach agreement on outline of immigration plan
- Movilización masiva por una reforma migratoria
- Líderes religiosos piden un proceso de ciudadanía de siete años
- Feb 19:
- McCain defends immigration plan to angry residents
- Familias buscan alivio en ley de inmigración
- Families look for relief from immigration bill
- Feb 18:
- Asesora de Obama en inmigración ve reforma cerca
- Obama immigration aide seeks to finish journey
- Obama offering immigration plan as backup
- Feb 14:
- Colorado evangelicals cite Bible as they embrace immigration reform
- Obama takes range of questions in Google chat
- Feb 13:
- Más hijos de inmigrantes son demócratas
- Coffman afirma en Aurora que ahora favorece legalización de inmigrantes
- Coffman tells Aurora crowd he favors legal status for immigrants
- Feb 12:
- Obama al Congreso: envíenme reforma migratoria
- Obama on immigration: 'Let's get this done'
- Dreamers piden a Rubio que favorezca ciudadanía
- Feb 11:
- Conservadores a favor de reforma impulsan debate
- Feb 7:
- Obama busca apoyo de senadores en inmigración
- Feb 4:
- Dirigentes cristiano-evangélicos respaldan gestiones a favor de la reforma inmigratoria
- Congresista Coffman propone aceptar a ciertos indocumentados en las fuerzas armadas
- Jan 31:
- Where Does Line for Citizenship Begin?
- Undocumented immigration foes despair over GOP moves
- Redada en Greeley es recordada con temor
- Jan 30:
- House members negotiate a proposal on immigration
- Mexico stays on the sidelines in immigration reform debate
- Jan 29:
- Immigration overhaul? GOP, Dem senators vow action
- Obama: "Llegó la hora" de la reforma migratoria
- Grupo bipartidista de senadores promete actuar sobre migración
- Obama launches push for immigration overhaul
- Jan 28:
- Details of the Senate immigration proposal
- Senadores: Legalización de inmigrantes inmediata
- Preparan marcha a favor de inmigrantes en EEUU
- Immigration overhaul? GOP, Dem senators vow action
- Arizona reform advocates hail immigration reform
- EEUU: Reforma migratoria incluiría naturalización
- Acuerdo en Senado de EEUU sobre leyes inmigración
- Jan 23:
- Estados Unidos siente impacto de programa de deportación
- Jan 15:
- Smith: Difícil Congreso apruebe reforma migratoria
- Jan 4:
- lndocumentados temen solicitar licencias en Illinois
- Some undocumented immigrants fear applying for licenses
- Dec 17:
- EEUU: Menos pedidos de suspensión de deportaciones
- Dec 12:
- Colorado desarrolla acción bipartidaria a favor de la reforma inmigratoria
- Dec 10:
- Colorado desarrolla acción bipartidaria a favor de la reforma inmigratoria
- Editorial: Colorado's diverse voices on immigration
- Dec 9:
- Colorado steps to bipartisan forefront in immigration reform
- Dec 6:
- Leyes de cooperación entre policía e inmigración resultan costosas para Colorado
- Dec 5:
- Study shows immigration reporting law has high cost for Colorado
- Dec 4:
- Bush: inmigrantes llenan vacío en mercado laboral
- Nov 28:
- Republicanos proponen plan para inmigrantes
- EEUU busca atraer empresarios extranjeros
- High-skill green cards get lame-duck push in Congress
- Nov 27:
- Mexico's Pena Nieto wants to help U.S. overhaul immigration
- Nov 23:
- House to consider limited GOP immigration bill
- Nov 14:
- Obama: Immigration reform to start early next year
- Obama: reforma migratoria pronto al Congreso
- Nov 13:
- Editorial: Moving forward on immigration
- Nov 12:
- Colorado Dems push for immigration reform and DREAM Act
- Nov 11:
- Senadores de EEUU proponen reforma migratoria
WASHINGTON - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's bipartisan political organization is losing friends.
The group backed by technology millionaires and billionaires, called FWD.us, began advocating in April for changes to U.S. immigration law. Within weeks, FWD.us surprised some of its members by setting up partisan offshoots and airing ads promoting Democratic Sen. Mark Begich's support for oil drilling and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's backing of the Keystone XL pipeline.
It's a strategy intended to give political cover to some senators who may support an immigration bill by reminding uneasy voters of the lawmakers' other policy priorities. Yet the tactic angered some pro-environment donors and sparked a social-media campaign against Zuckerberg.
"The right way to accomplish political objectives is to argue issues on the merits," Elon Musk said in a telephone interview. The billionaire co-founder of PayPal and chairman of electric carmaker Tesla Motors stopped participating with FWD.us earlier this month. "We want a political system that is less cynical over time, not more," Musk said.
Technology entrepreneur Anil Dash, who declined to join the group, was more blunt, writing on his blog, "If we're finally moving past our innocent, naive and idealistic lack of engagement with the actual dirty dealings of legislation, then let's try to figure out how to do it without losing our souls."
With the Senate planning to begin debate on immigration the week of June 10, the feuding with FWD.us risks diluting the strength of and sapping energy from organizations seeking to promote the bill's passage.
The stakes are high, as the technology industry for a decade has sought more temporary visas for skilled employees, saying there aren't enough qualified Americans to do such jobs as software engineering. Labor unions dispute that, arguing that Silicon Valley companies want to deflate wages by importing cheaper workers.
Introducing FWD.us in an April 11 essay in the Washington Post, Zuckerberg wrote that FWD.us would focus on immigration and also help on issues such as improving science, technology, engineering and math teaching in schools and increasing funding for scientific research.
As a social-welfare group, FWD.us isn't required to reveal its donors and is limited in the amount of political work it can do. FWD.us lists 36 founders and major contributors on its website, without disclosing how much money they've given or the group's total budget.
The backers are a who's who of the digital age. Among them: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, LinkedIn executive chairman Reid Hoffman, Netflix chief executive officer Reed Hastings, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
Some of them are seasoned political contributors. Schmidt, for example, is a top donor to President Barack Obama and Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and tech advocate.
Zuckerberg, 29, is newer to politics, having never written a check to Obama or any other federal candidate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, based in Washington.
In April, the FWD.us offshoots spent more than $1 million on a trio of TV commercials which aired for about a week in home states of senators.
In one TV spot, Graham, a South Carolina Republican, says he wants to build the Keystone pipeline to transport tar-sands oil from Canada. In another, a narrator reminds viewers that Begich, an Alaska Democrat, wants to drill for oil in a wildlife refuge. Neither commercial mentions immigration.
The Graham ad reflects a time-tested political strategy, said Haley Barbour, an adviser to FWD.us's Republican group and Mississippi's former governor.
"It's very appropriate to remind people of his judgment so that, as voters learn about immigration, they listen to him," Barbour said in an interview. "It's a proven concept, used in all kinds of advertising. And for good reason - it's logical."
Musk and another former FWD.us donor, David Sacks, who founded business networking site Yammer, concluded otherwise and quit Zuckerberg's group. Sacks declined to comment through Yammer spokeswoman Belinda Wong.
At the time those ads were airing, FWD.us's Silicon Valley- based president Joe Green, was pitching other tech entrepreneurs for support. After having lunch with Green, Dash and Josh Miller, a founder of startup company Branch, both wrote online essays expressing their reservations.
The group's approach, "though pitched as 'pragmatic' and 'smart' by Beltway insiders, is typically only practiced by large pharmaceutical companies, gun manufacturers, and the like," Miller wrote in an essay posted to the website Buzzfeed.com.
Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has more sharply criticized Fwd.us, asking May 5 in a Twitter message why the the group was willing to "prostitute climate destruction & other values to get a few engineers hired & get immigration reform?"
Keith Rabois, a partner at Khosla Ventures, is a contributor to Fwd.us. The company didn't respond to requests for comment.
In addition to the Graham and Begich ads, Zuckerberg's group is running radio and TV spots that emphasize the "tough" aspects of the immigration plan.
A minute-long ad airing now on the national talk-radio shows of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity begins: "Our immigration system is a joke, and the whole world knows it."
It goes on to say that Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, and Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, "are working on plans to change that. It all starts with real border security, more fencing, more manpower and high- tech surveillance."
Of those ads, Rob Jesmer, the FWD.us campaign manager, said, "There's a lot of conversation about immigration happening on talk radio. We'd be foolish not to get our message out over that medium."
Opponents of FWD.us's tactics recently started using some of the same social-media sites that made the group's backers wealthy.
Some environmental and Democratic-leaning groups, including the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, CREDO and MoveOn.org have banded together to criticize FWD.us through a Facebook page and Twitter account.
The coalition created a Tumblr last week to take aim at Mayer - whose company just purchased that micro-publishing outlet for $1.1 billion.
"We'd like this Yahoo gif better, and do this dance, if Marissa Mayer dropped FWD.us," the Tumblr concludes, showing a dancing animation.
"These are the people who should be helping us figure out how to have a better democracy, and yet they're just using old, broken D.C. strategies," said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO, a super-political action committee started by a mobile phone company. "They have built their careers on communities of millions of users.
We just want to make sure those users know what they're doing."