Facebook’s Zuckerberg hosting a hackathon for immigrant ‘Dreamers’

In the latest phase of a campaign to change U.S. immigration laws, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and some other prominent tech figures are hosting a hackathon next month for young “Dreamers” – undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.

The event, to be held Nov. 20-21 at the LinkedIn campus in Mountain View, will give tech-savvy young immigrants a chance to write code alongside more experienced engineers and product designers, according to FWD.us, the advocacy group that Zuckerberg launched earlier this year.

“Some of the top product innovators of our time” – including Zuckerberg, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, DropBox founder Drew Houston and Groupon’s Andrew Mason – “will be working side-by-side with DREAMers to advise them throughout the hackathon,” says a notice on the FWD.us website, which encourages would-be participants to submit an application by Oct. 30.

Hackathons, of course, are a time-honored Silicon Valley strategy for tackling problems and finding solutions — or at least calling attention to an issue.  Facebook in particular has long celebrated the tradition of holding all-night coding sessions to resolve nagging problems or create new apps.

Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley leaders have been pushing for changes in immigration laws that would, among other things, make it easier for skilled engineers and scientists from other countries to get visas to work or start companies here in the United States. But their campaign has run into some controversy and the push for new legislation stalled in Congress earlier this year.

Whether or not the hackathon will produce a new computer program that solves Congressional gridlock is unclear. But according to the FWD.us site, “Each team will create a project or application that could help supporters share stories, contact members of Congress or show family and friends why they want meaningful immigration reform.”

(Photo of “hack” logo on lightpost at Facebook headquarters by Brandon Bailey)


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  • RegularGuy55

    Sorry, Mr. Z, but you can’t redefine criminality. If you break the law coming here, break the law staying here, break the law working here, you are – in fact – a criminal.

    • rgvtexan

      Criminal is not understanding that the Dream Act the law and allows those people the right to educate themselves which is much more than any tea partier will ever do.

      • RegularGuy55

        There you go, it’s that ‘old debbil’ the Tea Party again, right? Those people are just too, too hung up on upholding the Constitution. Makes no sense to do that when there’s a big block of new potential voters the liberals can pander to.

        • rgvtexan

          The Constitution is much more than the Second Amendment and it includes Rowe v Wade, you know the Abortion law and ACA, how do you feel about those issues.

  • rgvtexan

    Wow, so the premise that the very low intellect tea partiers and conservatives hold regarding immigrants (they all think that they mean Mexicans), which is that they are no more than beasts of burden is wrong? Progressives understand that a smart tea partier is one that can fog a mirror and would take a dreamer over a lazy conservative any time.

    • Adam Kos

      How smart are you if you want to foot the bill for $100B/yr for non-US citizens while american citizens are still struggling?

      • rgvtexan

        I’m pretty smart and much smarter than a tea partier, after all, they cost 24B in 2 weeks of shut down. So if they can waste money on nothing, spending on the intellect of any human is a far better deal. Progressives see all humans the same and understand that the in-breeding of tea partiers makes them not to bright.

        • Adam Kos

          Then invite all the poor from all the world to the US and see how we do.
          I note you don’t talk about the merits of the bill, only the politics of it. Because you have nothing to say, is my guess. So you assume moral superiority and go home happy. You think that’s “progessive”.

          • rgvtexan

            Why would I invite all the poor of the world? Which American citizens are struggling anyhow? The Dreamers are not working yet, so why aren’t those Americans rushing to get those available jobs that the Dreamers will take? Oh I forgot, you all opposed the President’s Jobs bill so there are not many to get for them.
            Progressive are morally superior to tea partiers and conservatives because we don’t start with the assumption that we are superior to non-whites, women, non-Christians or non-heterosexuals… though we know we are superior to the political right of our Nation.

          • Adam Kos

            “which americans are struggling” says it all. another out of touch elitist.

          • rgvtexan

            And another conservative baseless type reply, you didn’t say which Americans were struggling. To you of course are the Kocks or some other rich family, because you of course oppose anything that will help the middle class. You think that people getting Federal assistance are all liberal and moochers, and should be scrambling to get those “jobs” that the Dreamers will steal from them, amazing that you don’t think the same of tea partiers and conservatives.

  • Adam Kos

    Story broke today about 6 million 16-24 year old kids (and kids+) are unemployed. Can’t get entry level jobs. We have somewhere around 4-6 million illegals working in this country. What’s hard to figure out?
    Granting 12 million illegals amnesty, then allowing them to bring in another 10 million family members, the VAST majority of which are working low/min wage jobs, are not going to “boost the economy”. Instead we will pay for their health care, the education of their kids, and social benefits. $100B/yr bill sounds about right.
    It will boost US unemployment, lower wages, and create huge incentives to come here illegally. Seriously, why is this bill, which does absolutely nothing for US citizens, even being considered?

    • StopTheLies

      This is ALL about importing cheap, compliant labor for US corporations. With real unemployment at nearly 15%, falling wages and escalating poverty, this is legislation that TRIPLES the import of foreign “guest-workers” and DOUBLES the already high-level of US immigration.

      It doesn’t matter that our engineers are now stocking the shelves at Walmart and Home Depot, or that our nation’s backbone of engineers, scientist and technology workers is being destroyed, this is about CORPORATE PROFITS — and GREED.

      Citizens now stand witness to the corruption of US government by corporate and moneyed interests. Witness how $2 BILLION for “lobbying” and propaganda by tech corporations buys legislation that ONLY serves corporate profits — while grossly detrimental to this nation and citizens. The corporate prize? A nearly $6 TRILLION corporate gain at the expense of our nation.

      It is time for hard question about corporations that refuse taxes and hiring of citizens — yet spending billions to pervert OUR government.

  • Makikiguy

    They are illegal aliens.

    • rgvtexan

      Not according to the Dream Act, I suggest you read it, as it was more a crime to steal 24B from tax payers on the GOP-Tea Party shutdown than to see how many potential geniuses are within the Dreamers, I know a lot more than tea partiers for sure.