Last year, several billionaires were busy putting their money where their mouths were in an attempt to push amnesty, disguised as “immigration reform,” on a Congress that everyone thought was ripe for the issue. But ever since the border crisis erupted, forcing Congress to adjourn for the summer without taking action, those billionaires have suddenly gone silent.
As noted by Politico, earlier this year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and Citigroup executive Carlos Gutierrez were all pumping millions into the push for amnesty, but with the upcoming midterm elections looming, not one of these billionaires is buying ad time to push the issue.
One of those involved in rallying Republicans to the issue, for instance, has been straightforward in explaining why his group is laying low.
As Charlie Spies, one of the organizers of Republicans for Immigration Reform, told Politico, “The problem at the border and the president’s rhetoric on executive action have totally poisoned the well.” He added, “I don’t think anybody believes anything can happen this year.”
Most of the other big dollar campaigns are also sitting the midterms out. From American Action Network, run by the one-time director of the Congressional Budget Officer, Doug Holtz-Eakin, to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg, whose FWD.us is nowhere to be seen thus far in the election cycle, few pro-amnesty groups are engaged.
Naturally, the big reason is the crisis on the border, as tens of thousands of illegals flood our southern border. The GOP is “moving the the right” on the issue, Politico claims, and several GOP candidates have launched anti-amnesty ads against Democrat opponents, as the President has essentially caused the flood of illegal entrants with his loose immigration policies.
While the GOP begins to shy from amnesty, a growing number of Americans are beginning to feel that illegal immigration is the biggest issue facing the country. An AP poll in July found that 90 percent felt that immigration was a serious problem.
Obama’s actions have caused many voters to sour on immigration reform, and the President’s vague claims that he’d use executive orders to bestow amnesty on illegals has also caused any immigration reform efforts to stall.
Consequently, recent polls have found that an increasing number of Americans blame Obama for the immigration crisis.
In fact, Republicans for Immigration Reform seems to be having trouble raising funds. The news site said that despite having no legal limits on fundraising, the group “has struggled to meet early fundraising expectations.”
Any number of these groups may join the election cycle as Election Day nears, but thus far, few have shown any inclination to do so.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.