Zuckerberg-backed group makes new immigration push
November 18th, 2013
12:23 PM ET
9 years ago

Zuckerberg-backed group makes new immigration push

Washington (CNN) - One week after House Speaker John Boehner repeated his vow to never hold a vote on the Senate's immigration reform bill, a public advocacy group backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says it's launching a new ad campaign urging congressional leaders to take action on the issue.

FWD.us announced Monday a new series of English and Spanish-language TV commercials called "We Wait" that it says will run on national cable and in some key local markets, as well as online. A source with knowledge of the group's efforts says FWD.us is spending six figures on the ad buy.

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The 60-second spot starts with a narrator saying "on the need to fix our broken immigration system, there are signs both political parties in Washington get it."

It then uses a clip of President Barack Obama saying "Washington is lagging behind the country on this," and Boehner saying "this issue has been around far too long."

The ads also use clips of House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy talking about the need for immigration reform.

The spot concludes with the narrator saying "Americans are tired of empty rhetoric. It is time for every leader to come through on their promise and fix our broken immigration system. Tell Congress: the time is now. Fix America's broken immigration system."

After the GOP lost last year's battle for the White House and failed to win back the Senate, thanks in part to a very poor performance with Hispanic voters, some Republican leaders said it was time for Congress to pass immigration reform.

In June the Senate passed an immigration reform bill, with some GOP support, that includes an eventual pathway to citizenship for most of the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants. But thanks to fierce opposition from a large bloc of House conservatives, the bill appears dead in the House.

Last week Boehner not only repeated his long standing opposition to voting on the Senate measure, he went a step further by saying "I'll make clear we have no intention ever of going to conference on the Senate bill."

One of the most recent national polls on immigration, conducted earlier this month by Quinnipiac University, indicated that 57% said undocumented workers living in the U.S. should be allowed to stay in the country and eventually apply for citizenship.

Politico was first to report the new ad.

Zuckerberg, who backs FWD.us, has embraced immigration reform, telling CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo in August that  "my goal in this is to help support folks who care deeply about getting this done on both sides and hopefully we can make a difference."

"Eleven million undocumented people. That's a lot of people who's lives we can improve and make the country stronger," added Zuckerberg.

–CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Donna

    The only thing "broken" about it is a federal governemnt that refuses to secure our borders, refuses to track down visa overstayers, and refuses to deport every illegal it catches. Prove to the American people you are serious about enforcing our current immigration laws and others will be considered. Otherwise all we'll have is another set of laws that are never enforced. We've already seen this movie before, and have already been conned before by the Democrats and liberals. And all we got for it was ANOTHER illegal alien invasion of 10-20 million people.

    November 18, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Zolicon

    I have a suggestion as to where they can push Their immigration reform.
    Can You guess where that is ?

    November 18, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Country needs lot of brilliant Computer programmers.

    November 18, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. A True Conservative

    So what is broken about our current system other than the fact that we don't enforce our own laws? What do we need to fix?

    November 18, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. rs

    A True Conservative

    So what is broken about our current system other than the fact that we don't enforce our own laws? What do we need to fix?
    ____________________________
    Record high arrests and deportations under the Obama Administration. Care to cite what law or laws aren't currently enforced? I suspect the House GOP wants to keep a perfect score of doing nothing for America, rather than deal with real issues.

    November 18, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. ED1

    What would you know about immigration stick to facebook unless you want to pay for all the people that are here not legal.

    There should be no short cut we should enforce the laws we have on the books now but Dictator Obama doesn't enforce laws unless they help him and the Democrats that love to spend money they don't have.

    November 18, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. just asking

    let's just adopt the same immigration laws as mexico. i hear they are real soft on illegals entering their country.

    November 18, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    Accept the fact republican congress won’t touch immigration till 2015, sorry party don’t have a leader

    November 18, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. bannu

    I don't believe they will push this bill, just spending time unnecessarly. lot of people r waiting but result seems nothing from long ago.

    November 18, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    "In June the Senate passed an immigration reform bill, with some GOP support, that includes an eventual pathway to citizenship for most of the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants. But thanks to fierce opposition from a large bloc of House conservatives, the bill appears dead in the House."
    -------------------------
    If there are that many Republicans against the bill, why don't they just put it on the floor and vote it down? Because of their precious voting records. Because too many Republicans don't want to be on record voting against Immigration Reform. While many just simply would take pride in voting against it, the truth is that most Republicans really don't want reform.

    November 18, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Rubio pushed his bill then pushed against it. That's how hopeful I am about immigration reform.

    November 18, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    Stock market is doing very well but average American doesn’t feel that, there are many reasons for that.
    Senate immigration bill and minimum wage increase will help the economy simple more consumer and more money

    November 18, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Doug in NYC

    To all the people complaining about laws not being enforced, prove it! Deportations are up, arrests are up. To continue moving enforcement numbers up requires MONEY. Yet the same ones complaining about enforcing immigration laws are the exact same people cheering for spending cuts! Make up your mind, you can't have both!

    November 18, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    True Conservative

    So what is broken about our current system other than the fact that we don't enforce our own laws? What do we need to fix?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A great place to start would be with the incarceration for life of any business owner who hires illegals, along with the forefeiture of ALL assets – INCLUDING personal assets and any assets belonging to spouses, children & grandchildren.

    November 18, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Boehner should allow a vote on the Senate bill. It's that simple. The majority of America supports it, just like they supported passing the continuing resolution during the shutdown, which he also refused to allow a vote on until the last minute. But alas, the GOP/Teatrolls have their racist/bigot base to pander to and can't risk being primaried from the right by some Teatroll know-nothing who can claim he hates "those people" more than the current guy does. Thus, it's dead in the water. The GOP/Teatrolls in the House can't risk it being voted on and passed while it contains a thirteen year pathway to citizenship. No no...instead, what they will likely do is pass some limited piece-meal bills containing ridiculously draconian "border security" laws...even more draconian than what the Senate passed (which includes doubling the troops on the border and a $3B fence)...and when those wish-list agenda bills die in the Senate, they'll already have talking points written for their 2014 campaigns about it.

    November 18, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    The senate bill would create 6 million jobs (an average of approximately 14,000 per congressional district). Of course the GOP/Teatrolls don't want it. When they said "jobs, jobs, jobs" they meant jobs in the MSM helping them cover up for DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO HELP THE ECONOMY while they control the House.

    November 18, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    A True Conservative

    So what is broken about our current system other than the fact that we don't enforce our own laws? What do we need to fix?
    --------------------------
    Sometimes, right wing talking points are just so stupid that they double back on themselves for second dose of dumb.

    Let's enforce the laws we have then. But, if we started enforcing our own laws, then a whole lot of right wing small business owners would wind up in jail for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. But we could start by repealing the law that allows business owners to toss out I-9 Forms after three years. Republicans passed it early in Bush-43's first term. The problem with the I-9 Forms was that they provided documented proof that you knowingly hired an undocumented worker. Now you can play dumb by pretending that the worker gave you valid documentation once upon a time, but you threw it all out years ago.

    November 18, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Sniffit

    Boehner should allow a vote on the Senate bill. It's that simple. The majority of America supports it, just like they supported passing the continuing resolution during the shutdown, which he also refused to allow a vote on until the last minute.
    ---------
    Obama should sign a bill repealing Obamacare. The majority of America supports having it repealed. It's that simple.

    November 18, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Hector Slagg

    Of course every UnDocumented person can become a citizen. They will just have to return to their own country to begin the process. That's how million's of people are doing it today. With worker's being laid off left and right it is a fallacy that there will be 11 Million more Tax Payers. Presumbly about 9 million are using someone else's Social Security Number and are paying taxes, etc. If they become citizens and employers have to start paying them more money because of laws they may be let go, and then the taxpayers will be paying their welfare. With over half of the people on some kind of welfare now the people have rejected any kind of Amnesty.

    November 18, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Senate immigration bill and minimum wage increase will help the economy simple more consumer and more money"

    But but but, we don't need better minimum wages!!! Everything's just fine!!! Places like Walmart will very conveniently holds food drives for their employees so they can have Thanksgiving on food donations from the customers. (Google for stories on the Ohio Walmart that's doing just that) Poor wages, part-time work and no benefits? No problem! We'll hold a food drive so you can go home with a can of creamed corn, canned turkey and a box of fake mashed potato flakes! Nom nom nom nutritious for your growing kids!!!! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be taking my 8 figure Walmart executive salary to the Caymans for the holiday....

    November 18, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. A True Conservative

    @rs – you still didn't answer the question – what needs to be fixed? What is the fix? Simply saying that we will not enforce our laws? Have completely open borders? Say – OK you came here illegaly, but we will let you stay, give you citezenship and pay for your kids to go to college and have healthcare because you seem like a nice person......what is the fix and why? What are we trying to fix? These are simple questions that those pushing for immigration reform are either unable or unwilling to answer......

    November 18, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. A True Conservative

    @Rudy – OK, let's enforce our current laws. We agree! o it impacts businesses who have hired illegal aliens – so what? Are we a nation of laws or are we not? Or is this about something other than concern for illegals? Does the left have an ulterior motive?

    November 18, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. bad ideas for America

    Mr. Mark Z,

    Your idea to use social media works well as long as you are worth billions. Government changes are not your strength.

    Keep with keeping people's information secure. And leave our borders alone. We do not want an open door policy. No other country allows that, why should we?

    November 18, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. rs

    A True Conservative

    @rs – you still didn't answer the question – what needs to be fixed? What is the fix? Simply saying that we will not enforce our laws? Have completely open borders? Say – OK you came here illegaly, but we will let you stay, give you citezenship and pay for your kids to go to college and have healthcare because you seem like a nice person......what is the fix and why? What are we trying to fix? These are simple questions that those pushing for immigration reform are either unable or unwilling to answer......
    ____________________
    NO ONE has proposed "open borders"- for openers. The second is that the U.S. does need two types of workers- skilled, high-tech and for agriculture- and at present the system doesn't work, and worse, has created quite the underground economy that the government cannot collect revenue from. Among the other issues on the table are rights for those brought here as children- the GOP seems to like keeping these folks in limbo. Read the CBO report. Immigration Reform is good for both the debt and deficit.

    November 18, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. GatorDude

    Here are the reforms that I'd like to see-
    1. Enforce current immigration laws.
    2. Deport all illegal aliens.
    3. Start a phased shutdown of welfare and place welfare recipients in the jobs being done by illegals. (As an alternative to jail for employers who hired illegals.) (Yes, there are all kinds of work ethic, training, issues to be handled.)
    4. Add an additional "prep year" of remedial work for college students who were poorly served by their public school.
    5. Raise foreign national college tuition two 2x Out-of-State tuition.
    6. Train American students for jobs in America.
    7. Phase out H1B visa program.
    8. Let technical salaries rise to attract more applicants to technical jobs and training programs.
    9. Let companies train non-technical employees to handle some technical tasks (as was done in pre-H1B times).
    10. Watch a new American middle class rise and rebuild the economy.

    November 18, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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