Facebook's Zuckerberg Targets GOP With Immigration Ad

Tuesday, 04 Mar 2014 08:58 AM

By Melanie Batley

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A new television ad debuts next week intended to intensify pressure on House Republican leaders to act this year on overhauling the nation's immigration laws, blaming them for stalling it in Congress.

The 60-second ad, paid for by the Council for American Job Growth, an affiliate of Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg's nonprofit advocacy group FWD.us, will begin running nationally on Monday. The council is spending about $500,000 on the commercial , which is expected to appear in all 50 states for about two weeks, according to The New York Times.

"No one debates we need to fix our broken immigration system," the narrator says, according to The Times. "Republican leaders know it. They've even said so time and again. So why are House Republicans cooling, retreating, and even privately saying they'd rather do nothing this year?"

The ad details why the country will suffer if immigration reform is not advanced.

"Doing nothing puts jobs on ice, forces us to lose out on revenue for roads and schools and infrastructure, and sends a message to millions of dreamers who study hard and want to serve our country — they might as well dream on," the narrator continues.

"No, nothing won't do. Call House Republicans today. Tell them we've waited long enough — pass immigration reform."

In his State of the Union Address in January, President Barack Obama renewed his call for immigration reform, noting that the House has failed to act on the comprehensive bipartisan immigration package passed by the Senate last June.

Activists have also been pressing GOP lawmakers to renew their commitment to the issue, which had been an item on the top of the political agenda this time last year.

Republicans, however, have since signaled that the prospects for immigration reform during Obama's presidency are increasingly unlikely after relations between the parties took a nosedive over the government shutdown and the rollout of Obamacare.

"The cost of inaction is too great, and it's not enough to pay lip service to the need for immigration reform," Todd Schulte, president of the Council for American Job Growth, told The Times. "It's time for House Republicans to make good on their words and act."

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