Image: Facebook’s Zuckerberg Targets Utah’s Hatch on Immigration
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Targets Utah’s Hatch on Immigration

Thursday, 25 Apr 2013 01:58 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Utah GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee are prime targets of a new political group financed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that's trying to convince Republicans to support the bipartisan immigration reform bill.

The group, Americans for a Conservative Direction, has launched a TV ad campaign to run in seven states this week — including Utah, where Hatch holds the potential swing vote on the legislation, and Lee strongly opposes it.

The commercial stars Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who calls the status quo “de facto amnesty” for the 11 million illegal immigrants now living here and touts the bipartisan bill as tough on enforcement, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The ads, also running in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Iowa, and Kentucky are costing the group about $1 million. Another spot focuses on South Carolina and Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Rob Jesmer, the former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee who is involved in the ad campaign, told the Tribune:

“Conservative leaders in Congress have put forward a bold plan with the toughest enforcement measures to secure our broken borders and hold those who have broken our laws accountable,” Jesmer said.

Zuckerberg’s interest, according to the newspaper, is based in part on Facebook’s quest to attract more talent from overseas. The Senate bill would increase the number of visas available for high-skilled foreign computer and other tech workers.

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