Updated 9/18/13 5:42pm E.T.
Washington (CNN) – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg declined any traditional political label while in Washington stumping for his pro-immigration reform group, saying that rather than Democrat or Republican, "I'm pro-knowledge economy."
The multibillionaire took part in a forum Wednesday with Atlantic magazine editor James Bennet, commenting on his immigration group, FWD.us, along with the future of Facebook and the impact revelations that the U.S. government tracks some American activity online have had on the trust people place in their social media.
On his political views, Zuckerberg spoke of the transition from an industrial economy with zero-sum games that have winners and losers to a "knowledge economy" where two people can have the same information without being in competition, hence his moving away from a right or left stance.
As for immigration, which is why he's in D.C., Zuckerberg said that the sometimes controversial tactics of FWD.us, using attack ads and supporting pro-immigration politicians with stances that may be unpopular, are still in the early phases.
"There's been a lot to debug in making this work," Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg: Concerns were expressed about immigration lobbying
Zuckerbeg called immigration an incredibly complicated issue and that FWD.us is not trying to push the specifics of the law. Rather, it is trying to "support folks who need to take controversial positions," both Democrats and Republicans.
For Zuckerberg, support of immigration reform is both an ideological and business decision, he said, with the tech industry arguing that skilled laborers need to be able to get into the country more easily. FWD.us is supported by a number of Silicon Valley CEOs.
Ideologically, Zuckerberg said he was motivated by the students he's taught in an afterschool program, many of whom he learned were undocumented.
"The more I looked into this the more unfair it seemed," he said.
He said he was "optimistic" of the chances for reform. "But I'm an entrepreneur," he said.
Zuckerberg is expected to spend much of the day Thursday meeting with members of Congress.
When it comes to partisan divide, Zuckerberg said he sees less of that on immigration. But on other matters, perhaps there is a reason few things get done. "The system is setup to avoid making catastrophic mistakes," Zuckerberg said. When there's little or no consensus on an issue, "there's fewer things that should get done."
As for the government surveillance programs that have involved queries with some of the county's biggest technology companies including Google and Facebook, Zuckerberg said that "the more transparency the government could do," on exactly the information being queried, "the better anyone would feel about it."
That is why Facebook is currently suing the federal government to be able to release precisely how many times the social media company has been asked for user data. And the company has frequently pushed back on requests it feels to be too broad, Zuckerberg said.
When revelations of the government surveillance came to light, public trust in their online privacy dropped as well, Zuckerberg said.