At town halls across the country during this recess, members of Congress are taking heat over immigration reform, and the issue is expected to spark a major debate when Congress reconvenes. But as congressmen meet constituents this summer, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is launching a six-figure TV ad buy in support of immigration reform.
The “face” of Zuckerberg’s ads is that of Alejandro Morales, an illegal alien who was brought here from Mexico when he was only seven months old. Morales has become a model student, jointed the Junior ROTC, and excelled at the Marine Math and Science Academy in Chicago. But because of his legal status he is barred from joining the U.S. Marines.
“I want to be a U.S. citizen. I want to be a Marine. I’m going to be a Marine because I care. I care about this country. I care about those around me. I care about my family, my neighbors,” Morales says in the ad. “I do want to give back. I believe 100 percent in what this country stands for. Let me earn it. Let me serve.”
ABC News reports that Zuckerberg is pushing his immigration reform ideas with “a mid-six figure ad buy.”
On its website, Zuckerberg’s immigration group, FWD.us, says that Morales’ tale is “not unique.”
We are running this ad to put a very human face on our broken immigration system. While Alejandro’s story is powerful, it is not unique. Undocumented immigrants already contributing to our communities want to be recognized as Americans, and want the opportunity to continue to serve our country and contribute to its success–as members of the armed forces, as teachers, scientists, entrepreneurs and business owners, and in many other capacities. 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. FWD.us is grateful to Alejandro for his courage in telling his moving personal story and hopes that this effort allows him to serve the country he loves so much.
FWD.us promises to take its message to members of Congress and notes that it is sponsoring a “roundtable immigration discussion” with Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA).
In remarks on August 6, Zuckerberg said that the immigration reform came to his attention when he was asked to teach a class on entrepreneurship at an eastern Menlo Park school. One student, Zuckerberg said, told him his big fear was not being able to go to college because he was an illegal alien.
The Facebook wunderkind was upset that some of those students “weren’t going to be given equal opportunity.” He went on to say that, “No matter where they were born, (these students) are going to be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and people creating jobs in this country. These are issues that don’t just touch our part of the industry, but really touch a whole country.”
Zuckerberg’s ad buy will run nationwide on cable, in key local markets and online, according to the FWD.us website.