Business leaders have a lot of leverage in the U.S., especially with the decision handed down by the Supreme Court in the Citizen’s United v. Federal Elections Committee case in 2010. Since then, corporations have been able to contribute unlimited funds to politicians running for office.
This has been specifically troubling for immigration reform since many business leaders are against it. However, there are some on the other side of the fence of the issue, and here are ten of them.
Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook
If there’s someone that understands social issues, it’s Zuckerberg. The CEO and founder of Facebook donates to both of the main political parties in the U.S. He’s a strong advocate for immigration reform and does a lot of heavy hitting through his co-founded cite FWD.us.
Bill Gates – Microsoft
Bill Gates is a billionaire and has already donated funds for issues such as education and world health. Part of this extends itself into foreign immigration with Gates on record saying he wants better education for immigrants and better legislation to help those wanting to come to the U.S. Oh, and he’s also one of the other cofounders of the aforementioned FWD.us.
Marissa Mayer – Yahoo
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has her ties to Zuckerberg, too. She cosigned a letter with Zuckerberg and nearly 100 other leaders addressed to President Obama detailing some of the issues with immigration. Obama later met with Mayer and discussed how to go about reforming laws and keeping up with the technological advancement and education of U.S. citizens in coming decades.
Sergey Brin – Google
If there’s a company that will understand reform issues and what needs to be addressed with immigration reform, it’s Google. Obama has already mentioned Brin’s name several times in connection with the topic. Brin also knows how powerful a force immigrants can be when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship.
Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn
Hoffman helped found FWD.us and has been an active voice in the political charge for reform. He believes that the U.S. is a wonderful starting place for ideas and those looking to start businesses and change their lives, the same way he did on his way to becoming CEO of LinkedIn.
Michele Carlin, Greg Brown – Motorola
Since it’s purchase by Google in 2012, Motorola has been just as active in legislative pressure. Carlin, the Vice President of Human Resources, has been on record saying that immigrants deserve just as much opportunity as anyone else in the U.S., whether it’s filling the jobs to grow the economy, or filling jobs that lead to more job creation.
Meanwhile, Brown is responsible for heading the reform discussion in the business community, chairing the committee on immigration reform. He, and others, met with Obama and Brown has publically stated that reform is a top priority for the business community, not a side issue to be used for political gain.
Bruce Culpepper – Shell Corporation
Culpepper joined Carlin in writing a letter to John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi urging congressional support for immigration reform. Although Culpepper doesn’t have as many ideas for fixing the problem on this list as others, he does want Congress to know they need to work together and those for the issue have his support. Culpepper has even urged Obama to have one signed within the year.
Arne Sorenson – Marriott International, Inc.
Sorenson was one of the first to laud the Senate on its passing of the immigration reform bill, but he’s also pressured Congress to continue improving the bill for future immigrants. His biggest point is that denying immigrants a chance for U.S. citizenship will harm the economy rather than give it the economic boost it needs.
Muhtar Kent – Coca-Cola
So many people struggle just to get into this country, let alone establish themselves and finally thrive, at least that’s the point Kent has made. He argues that the U.S. needs to make it easier for immigrants to not only come here, but receive an education that will allow them to become highly skilled workers if they choose. That’s not a light comment, either, from a man that’s CEO of a company that earned $48 billion in 2012.