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A Conservative Group Is Using Ronald Reagan to Attack President Trump’s Immigration Policies

2 minute read

A conservative group is running a Fourth of July ad using footage of former President Ronald Reagan to repudiate President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

The ad, paid for by the Becoming American Initiative, uses audio of a Reagan speech in which he praised immigrants and their contributions to American society, along with footage and photographs of the Statue of Liberty and various immigrants through the years.

“They didn’t ask what this country could do for them, but what they could do to make this refuge the greatest home of freedom in history,” Reagan says in the footage. “They brought with them courage and the values of family, work and freedom. Let us pledge to each other that we can make America Great Again.”

The Becoming American Initiative is a pro-immigration conservative group recently founded as a 501c-4 organization, which means it is allowed to engage in political advocacy, but does not have to disclose its donors.

“The point is that the Republican Party is no longer the party of Ronald Reagan. If it were, it would not be pursuing the anti-immigrant policy that President Trump is pursuing,” said Linda Chavez, the group’s director, who also served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Liaison in the Reagan administration. “As someone who worked in the Reagan White House and was part of the Reagan administration, it is disheartening to see President Trump using immigration as a wedge issue and trying to act as if immigrants are somehow bad for America, when in my view immigrants are what make America great.”

A representative for the group said the initial ad buy was $25,000. It initially launched on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and will run Wednesday on Fox News’ Fox and Friends and MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com