Bezos has gotten a lot of flak for having all that money and not making a point of donating much of it, drumming up articles on the subject with terms like "famously un-philanthropic" and a lot of "save for later" references. But with the Trump administration on the offensive against our tired, our poor, our huddled masses yearning to break free, Bezos has decided to pick a side and throw down his biggest donation to date.
Amazon has confirmed his $33 Million dollar donation to TheDream.us program, which helps the American-raised children of undocumented immigrants, who usually cannot receive federal financial aid, attend and graduate from college. The grant is the biggest in the organization's history and the grateful organization quickly made this public response:
Bezos' sudden philanthropy comes as he surpasses Bill Gates to be the wealthiest person on Earth, and while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has garnered mixed reviews on its priorities, it's still donating billions of dollars every year for charitable causes. It's likely that Bezos will face increasing scrutiny and pushback for not doing more with his fortune while his company single-handedly contributes to the shuttering of American small business.
Breaking his charitable silence on behalf of American DREAMers is a strong place to start, and a deeply personal one at that - Bezos' father is a Cuban immigrant. He released a statement as news hit the mainstream:
"My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Ban... 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.”
Credit where it's due. Bezos just funded college scholarships for 1000 undocumented immigrants to the tune of $300M. His father was a penniless Cuban immigrant. Nobody is all one thing.— eleanor ruby moon (@startrekker) January 12, 2018
Nice gesture. Hopefully he will do more in future but he should be commended and applauded— BlockchainDigital (@DamienDigits) January 12, 2018
Incredible. Hoping we can get some aid for grad DACA students too! Nevertheless this is wonderful. May all DREAMers pursue their dreams.— Danny K (@dannykrikorian) January 12, 2018
.@JeffBezos You could do that... or you could pay your share of taxes, thereby allowing the state to fund college for all citizens... or you could pay your employees a decent wage... or you could fund lobbying for real immigrant rights legislation...https://t.co/1u95MIszT6— Tom Becker (@_tombecker) January 12, 2018