The donation came within a day of the Washington Post's reporting that President Donald Trump, during a meeting with legislators Thursday, called Haiti, El Salvador and unnamed African countries "shitholes" from which the United States should not accept immigrants. According to the organization, the donation will allow 1,000 undocumented immigrant graduates of USA high schools with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status the opportunity to attend college.
"My dad came to the USA when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan", Bezos said in a release from TheDream.US.
The Bezos grant was given to TheDream.US, the nation's largest scholarship program for DACA recipients, as Congress struggles to restore the program.
"Our students are highly motivated and determined to succeed in college and in life", Candy Marshall, president of TheDream.US, said in a statement.
In a press release announcing the grant, Bezos noted that his stepfather Miguel was born in Spain and immigrated to the USA from Cuba when he was 15 years old. "With a lot of grit and determination... my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways".
A number of tech companies and executives have voiced support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
"MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today's Dreamers by funding these scholarships", he added. Trump announced last fall he would phase out the DACA program, which has provided benefits to some 800,000 undocumented immigrants since its launch in 2012. "We would invite anyone who questions the value of Dreamers to please come meet some of our students". He was among 100 corporate leaders who sent a letter to Congress this week calling for the program's renewal.
Bezos is a frequent target of Trump, who has accused the businessman of purchasing The Post to advance his business interests.
Donations to higher education are a frequent way for the world's wealthiest individuals to spread their wealth. The organization, which is less than four years old, says this is the largest grant it has ever received.