By Rima Abdelkader
Laurene Powell Jobs is speaking publicly for the first time since her husband Steve Jobs' death to advocate for immigration reform.
“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 that we developed – geared towards improving our entire society,” said Powell Jobs in an exclusive interview with Rock Center Anchor Brian Williams airing Friday, April 12 at 10pm/9CDT on NBC.
While Powell Jobs is focused and committed to her goal of getting immigration legislation passed, the intensely private Powell Jobs also addressed her husband's legacy.
“His private legacy with me and the kids is that of husband and father, and we miss him every day,” said Powell Jobs of the late Apple co-founder.
Powell Jobs is leaving her own mark on the immigration debate. She and filmmaker Davis Guggenheim recently teamed up to promote immigration reform through the film "The Dream Is Now." They both appeared on Capitol Hill this week showcasing the film to members of Congress.
“So my hope is that, when we tell this story, people see the human lives that are at stake,” said Guggenheim of the film that airs Sunday, April 14 on MSNBC. “It definitely has an opinion to it.”
Guggenheim, the documentarian behind “Waiting for Superman,” focuses his latest film on the fight over the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) would provide high school graduates or students or those who have served in the military a pathway towards legal status.
The film focuses in part on Jose, a young boy who excelled in mathematics and dreamt of becoming a mechanical engineer. He got a full scholarship to Arizona State University and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering – in a state that faced a shortage of engineers. Still, because Jose was undocumented, he wasn’t able to apply for the jobs his fellow students were eligible for. Today, he works construction with his father and brother.
“It’s honest work, but he wanted to do more,” filmmaker Guggenheim added. “When he was a kid and he pledged allegiance to the flag, and his teacher said, “You know Jose, if you work hard in this country, you can do anything.” He bought into that and he believed it, and then he got to a certain point and the rules changed.”
Jose isn’t alone in feeling hopeless when it comes to pursuing what he feels is his full potential. There are roughly 11 million immigrants that live in the United States without legal consent and without work documentation.
“We have educated individuals and individuals who want to further their education, passionately, deeply, right here in our country who we are not enabling,” Powell Jobs said.
Jose at a rally in Washington, D.C., for the passage of the DREAM Act.
Several thousand protesters, including Jose, also came to Washington this week demanding immigration reform. A bi-partisan push in both the House and the Senate to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented men, women and children already in the US is underway.