Anti-Immigration Group Targets Graham

Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013 11:52 PM

By Matthew Auerbach

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An anti-immigration group has launched an ad campaign against Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in his home state of South Carolina.

NumbersUSA began statewide radio ads Tuesday and said television ads would follow on Wednesday.

NumbersUSA opposes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the U.S., a measure Graham supports.

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“Who elected Graham to demand amnesty and welfare for millions of illegal aliens?” a voiceover says in the ad.

“Amnesty?” an unnamed man replies. “Not me.”

Graham is a member of the Senate “gang of eight,” a bipartisan group pushing for comprehensive immigration reform.

While Graham is the first member of the “gang of eight” to be targeted, NumbersUSA says it plans to run negative ads about the other seven members of the group: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

This is not the first wave of criticism directed at the Republican senators.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., called Rubio “amazingly naïve” to back such a proposal, and McCain was confronted by angry town hall questioners last week when he returned to Arizona.

Graham and McCain met with President Obama at the White House Tuesday to discuss reform efforts.

NumbersUSA, which plans to spend $150,000 on its anti-Graham ad campaign, believes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would only draw more illegal immigrants to the U.S. 

The group is also against an increase in legal immigration, another issue set to be reformed under the “gang of eight” plan.

In their ad, NumbersUSA also goes after Graham for supporting reform of employment-based immigration.

“Who elected Senator Graham to insist on more green cards for foreign workers when returning veterans can't find jobs?” it asks.

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