Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, is making a public push to encourage passage of the “Dream Act” immigration-reform law.
The proposed legislation would give children who were brought up in the U.S. and whose parents are in the country illegally a path to citizenship.
“There needed to be a broader communications campaign to educate the general population around what we were seeing every day, which is the human stories, the personal stories of the kids who are affected by the immigration policy,” Powell Jobs said in an interview for Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg EDU with Jane Williams” program.
Powell Jobs first met students who could qualify for the Dream Act through College Track, a nonprofit group she cofounded to help underserved high-school students get into and through college. It wasn’t until they began to apply for college and financial aid that some realized they didn’t have Social Security numbers.
While some universities will offer grant aid to help pay for college, undocumented students don’t qualify for Pell Grants for low-income students.
“They had to go to community college at best because they could not come close to affording it because they couldn’t access any funding for their education,” said Powell Jobs, who founded Emerson Collective, which supports education and immigration reform. “No student who’s undocumented can get any federal funding. Most cannot get any state funding.”
Powell Jobs is working with filmmaker Davis Guggenheim on “The Dream is Now,” an online campaign to promote the passage of immigration reform. Guggenheim is the Academy Award-winning director of “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman.”
The interview with Powell Jobs and Guggenheim will air on April 19 at 10 p.m. New York time; on April 20 at 5 a.m., 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.; and on April 21 at 12 a.m. and 7 p.m. It is also available on Bloomberg.com and on iTunes.)