TIME Immigration

Zuckerberg-Linked Group Rips House GOP On Immigration Reform

A political group co-founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that advocates for changes in the U.S. immigration system to better attract global talent to American businesses says House Republicans haven't done enough to speed along the process of immigration reform

An issues advocacy group co-founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched a new round of ads Monday to put pressure on House Republicans who have decided to “do nothing” this year on immigration reform. The $500,000 spot by FWD.us is scheduled to air in every state for two weeks, according to the Associated Press.

“No one debates that we need to fix our broken immigration system,” says a female voiceover, while a Washington Post article titled “GOP Leaders Agree: Immigration System Needs to Be Fixed, But…” flashes across the screen. “So why are House Republicans cooling, retreating, and even privately saying they would rather do nothing this year?”

One answer is that fixing immigration reform has little popular support. A Pew study released in January shows that the issue is sixteenth on the U.S. public’s top priorities list—behind “reducing the influence of lobbyists,” “protecting the environment” and “dealing with the nation’s energy problem.” While FWD.us has released a report showing that Republican congressmen have rarely lost primaries over immigration, the conference still wants to avoid such a hot button issue during an election year.

The ad is paid for through a progressive arm of FWD.us, the Council for American Job Growth, which has bankrolled ads supporting vulnerable Senate Democrats, including North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, Alaska’s Mark Begich and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

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