Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s advocacy group unveiled a new ad pro-immigration reform ad yesterday that caps off a busy week of activities for FWD.us.
The ad is called “Serve,” and features Alejandro Morales, an undocumented immigrant who wants to serve in the military. He moved to Chicago with his family when he was seven months old. America “is the only country he’s ever known.”
He cannot serve in the military, however, because of his immigration status. Morales is an example of what immigration reformers call a “Dreamer,” or a young immigrant who moved to the U.S. illegally with their family as a child.
“I do want to give back. I believe 100 percent in what this country stands for,” Morales says in the ad. “Let me earn it. Let me serve.”
FWD.us, which is backed by the major players in the technology industry, is pushing for reform that includes the DREAM Act, which creates a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
The DREAM Act failed last year in Congress, but as immigration reform legislation moves from the U.S. Senate to the U.S. House of Representatives, a greater fight is expected. That’s one reason FWD.us is picking up its efforts as lawmakers head home for summer recess this week. Current legislation doesn’t include provisions for DREAMERS, which this group hopes to change.
“We are running this ad to put a very human face on our broken immigration system,” said FWD.us President Joe Green, who co-founded FWD.us with Zuckerberg, in a statement. “We hope that by showing Americans the cost of this broken system and the contributions people like Alejandro are already making, they will join with us in supporting real reform.”
The ad will run in TV broadcast markets in border states and large cities, such as Phoenix; Tucson, Ariz.; Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.; Chicago; Albuquerque, N.M.; San Antonio, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Unlike past reform efforts, the tech industry says that, with this go-around, they want protection for all undocumented workers, not just workers that would benefit the tech industry. It can’t be overlooked that immigration reform would still make it easier for tech companies to recruit and retain talent.
The ad caps off a week of a week of activities from FWD.us. Earlier this week, the group hosted the premier for the film “Documented,” created by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. The documentary tells the story of his plight as an undocumented worker in the U.S. Zuckerberg spoke at the premier. The group also hosted a roundtable on immigration reform with California Congressman Jeff Denham (R).