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Laurene Powell Jobs Urges Passage of Immigration Reform

Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple Inc (AAPL). co-founder Steve Jobs, urged U.S. lawmakers to pass the Dream Act, an immigration reform bill that cleared the House and died in the Senate in 2010.

Jobs, in what NBC said is her first televised interview since her husband’s death in 2011, said failing to provide a path to legal status for younger undocumented immigrants in the U.S. is a waste of “human capital.”

“I started getting more and more active around immigration reform because this was such a waste of lives, such a waste of potential, such a waste for our country not to have the human capital we developed geared towards improving our entire society,” she said in an interview on NBC’s “Rock Center” to be broadcast today. “We need all of these brains.”

A bipartisan group of senators is putting the finishing touches on legislation to legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and revamp immigration laws. They have set a self-imposed deadline to unveil the bill by the end of the week.

President Barack Obama initiated a deferred deportation program last year that would allow children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before age 16 to remain in the country if they have no criminal record and meet other standards.

There’s growing support in Silicon Valley for changes to U.S. immigration policy. This month, Facebook Inc (FB). Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg announced the creation of an advocacy group called Fwd.us to lobby for a revamp of immigration policies.

Fwd.us. is backed by technology entrepreneurs and investors, including John Doerr at venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (ZZISK) and LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) Chairman Reid Hoffman, according to the group’s site.

The Dream Act passed the House when it was controlled by Democrats.

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Kucera in San Francisco at dkucera6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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