Laurene Powell Jobs Speaks Out: We Need Immigration Reform

Laurene Powell Jobs has stayed out of the limelight in the months since the death of her husband, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. [See Goodbye to a Great American Genius: Steve Jobs, (1955-2011), MurthyBlog, 06.Oct.2013.] Powell Jobs broke that silence in a recent appearance on NBC’s Rock Center, speaking out on the need for immigration reform, and promoting a new documentary that she made with filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, entitled “The Dream is Now.” [See Laurene Powell Jobs on Immigration Reform & Steve Jobs’ ‘Private Legacy’, by Rima Abdelkader, NBC Rock Center, 12.Apr.2013.]

The film they produced is especially concerned with the plight of undocumented students who were brought here as children: although some of them may now qualify for temporary normalization of status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, most still face steep financial hurdles that prevent them from accessing the educational opportunities now available to them, and Powell Jobs is keen to make this known. [See Steve Jobs’ Widow Makes Public Push for U.S. Immigration Reform, by Janel Lorin and Jane Williams,, 18.Apr.2013.] According to NBC, Powell Jobs told Rock Center‘s Brian Williams that, “I started getting more and more active around immigration reform because this was such a waste of lives, such a waste of human potential, such a waste for our country not to have the human capital that we developed – geared towards improving our entire society.”

Although Powell Jobs was referring to her work to promote a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants – especially children – her remarks apply equally well to the thousands of foreign STEM graduates who are forced to return home after completing advanced degrees here, because there simply aren’t enough green cards available to meet the demand. As Silicon Valley royalty – someone with a front-row seat to the boom years of our digital economy – Powell Jobs doubtless is well aware of just how much we owe to a generation of immigrant scientists, mathematicians, and IT specialists, whose brainpower and creativity have fueled the unprecedented growth of our high tech sector, including her husband’s path-breaking company.

Obviously, Ms. Powell Jobs has the resources to do whatever she chooses – or to do nothing at all. Hats off to her for choosing to make a difference – for her advocacy work and her commitment to upholding America’s great tradition as a nation of immigrants and a land of opportunity.


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