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U.S. Amazon CEO donates 33 million USD to fund undocumented college students

Xinhua,January 13, 2018 Adjust font size:

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, the world's largest online book retailer, and his wife, MacKenzie, are donating 33 million U.S. dollars in scholarship to fund 1,000 undocumented immigrant students, a scholarship fund announced Friday.

The scholarship fund, TheDream.US, which is the country's largest scholarship program for Dreamers, will give the grant, the largest sum ever awarded in the organization's history, to 1,000 undocumented immigrant graduates of U.S. high schools with DACA status to help them continue to pursue their college education.

Dreamers often refer to a group of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, who were protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an immigration policy established by former U.S. President Barak Obama in 2012 to shield them from deportation.

President Donald Trump revoked the program in September 2017, but his disputed decision was blocked by a U.S. district judge in San Francisco on Jan. 9.

TheDream.US, which is partnering with more than 70 low-cost colleges in 15 U.S. states, offers individual students 33,000 dollars in scholarship aid over four years to help them cover the cost of tuition, fees and books.

Currently, "2,850 students are enrolled in college under the program," the fund said in a statement.

"My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan," the fund quoted Bezos as saying.

The Amazon CEO 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."

Bezos is the richest person in the world with a total net wealth of 108 billion dollars as indicated by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index released on Friday.

Since 2012, 800,000 undocumented immigrants have received DACA status.

However, the White House and Congress are battling it out over the future of DACA that President Trump has been keen on its revocation. Enditem