The Associated Press fell victim to Mark Zuckerberg’s empire of astroturf groups on July 13th when the news service posted an immigration-related article that helpfully quoted a seeming diversity of people.
But a careful inspection shows that nearly all of the quotes came from paid activists in Zuckerberg’s pro-amnesty astroturf empire.
The article by Alan Fram was intended to describe the Democrats’ effort to pass multiple amnesties through the Senate by using the complex “reconciliation” process:
Their goal is to stuff the language into a huge measure this fall financing many of President Joe Biden’s priorities that would be shielded from a Republican Senate filibuster. That bill-killing [filibuster] procedure requires a virtually impossible 60 votes to overcome, but erasing that danger [with reconciliation, and] a Democrat in the White House means they could score an immigration triumph by themselves after years of Republican blockades.
Fram quoted Frank Sharry, the director of America’s Voice (Zuckberg provided him with $370,000 for 2019 and 2020); Ali Noorani, the director of the National Immigration Forum (whom Zuckerberg provided $1.5 million for 2019 and 2020); and Lorella Praeli, a leader in the “We Are Home” coalition that is funded by roughly $20 million in Zuckerberg donations, along with at least $30 million in “dark money” from unknown progressives.
Fram quoted Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which gets funding from Zuckerberg’s FWD.us group of like-minded investors. In 2019, FWD’s education arm provided $15,000 to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Fram quoted Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL) who is backed by FWD.us. For example, In November 2019, FWD.us hosted an event in Chuy’s district:
CHICAGO, IL —The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Family Focus, and FWD.us hosted a DACA renewal clinic on Nov. 16 with volunteer immigration attorneys, policy experts and community advocates. U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Illinois Rep. Lisa Hernandez, and Berwyn elected officials also attended …
The clinic took place in Berwyn, Illinois where 52 DACA renewal applications were completed, of which 40 received scholarships funded by FWD.us to cover the renewal fees.
FWD.us’ education arm also provided $30,000 to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which also hosted the event that Garcia attended.
The Fram article also quoted Kerri Talbot, the deputy director of the Immigration Hub group. Her group works with Zuckerberg’s FWD.us to fund and promote polls showing apparent public support for the amnesty bills that would cut Americans’ wages and spike their housing costs. “This is the chance to finally get it done,” Talbot told Fram about the reconciliation push.
Talbot’s Immigration Hub was created by another pro-migration billionaire, Laurene Powell Jobs, and it reflects the west coast Democrats’ support for Vice President Kamala Harris.
Fram’s article continued, “Immigration advocates point to polls showing public support for opening the citizenship doorway and studies showing immigration spurs economic growth.” In June, Immigration Hub, America’s Voice, and FWD.us touted a new set of commissioned polls that claim the public supports amnesty. The Zuckerberg-backed polls include skewed questions, such as:
When asked about the best way to handle migrants at the border:
55% say it’s best to “build a functioning immigration system that processes people in a fair, orderly, and humane way”;
Just 45% favor “more border security, more border patrol agents, and crackdowns on illegal immigration.”
Unsurprisingly, Immigration Voice favorably quoted Fram’s article.
The Fram article also quoted the Center for American Progress (CAP), which has taken FWD.us funding related to criminal justice. CAP has long pushed for migration, in part because poor migrants tend to vote for the Democratic Party.
Zuckerberg is not mentioned in Fram’s AP article.
After citing roughly eight pro-migration sources, Fram’s article did quote two people in the immigration debate who have been at odds with Zuckerberg.
The first of the two non-Zuckerberg people was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): “Sanders said in a brief interview late Monday that his budget will include the immigration language ‘if I have anything to say about it.'”
But in 2015, Sanders dismissed a call for easy migration into the United States. “Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal,” he told Vox.com.
Zuckerberg’s network is now working with former President George W. Bush and the Koch network to spike their stock market wealth with more immigrant consumers, renters, and workers.
But unlike most migration reporters in the established media, Fram talked to one advocate against the Democrats’ reconciliation plan:
“It would be a harder fight for our side if the administration were actually controlling the border,” said Rosemary Jenks, government relations director for NumbersUSA, which favors limiting immigration. “It doesn’t seem like a great way to go into the midterms” for Democrats.
Jenks declined to comment to Breitbart News, saying, “I can tell you on the record that NumbersUSA most certainly does not get as a single dime from Zuckerberg.”
The breadth of groups echoing Zuckerberg’s priorities is a big change from the 2013 amnesty when much of the pro-amnesty funding was distributed by George Soros.
In that 2013 and 2014 fight, pro-amnesty advocates largely conducted a traditional debate featuring TV arguments, paid advertising, Capitol Hill press conferences, rival op-eds, and TV shouting matches.
The push almost succeeded but was ultimately blocked by grassroots opposition. That opposition turned the push into a disaster for Democrats who lost five Senate seats in 2014 — and put Donald Trump on his two-year path to a rendezvous with a GOP-majority Senate and House.
In contrast, the 2021 push is almost entirely conducted behind doors in Congress, the agencies, and the White House, with little or no skeptical coverage from the media despite the massive economic impact of any amnesty on the media’s readers and on their own white-collar employees.
FWD is spending heavily to shape and direct media coverage.
“The big lesson over the last decade is that if you can pick the playing field and go on offense, this is a huge winning issue,” FWD.us president Todd Schulte told his activist groups during a May 26 pitch. One of his deputies, Jess Morales Rocketto, added:
In the fight around immigration and in particular family separation, Twitter and social media have been really, really important. And I think that one of the things we learned is your ability to drive conversation matters a lot — when you’re not driving conversation, people are filling [space] that with their unique sort of story. And when you don’t have people who drive conversation — individuals, organizations, whatever — it’s very very difficult to get in the [media] mix on the day-to-day on issue and keep them there. One of the things we’re most proud of a Families Belong Together is we’ve made it so that family separation is a front page issue whenever it comes up.
So far, no establishment reporter has dared cover the economics of migration or its massive impact on blue-collar and white-collar Americans. However, a growing number of reporters are quietly describing the economic gains for working Americans amid the 2021 shortage of willing workers while carefully not mentioning the supply-and-demand impact of migration.
Zuckerberg has also been funding much political activity in the states. For example, several states have recently passed laws that allow illegal aliens to work in licensed blue-collar jobs, such as plumbing, electrician, or HVAC technician.
Right-of-center business-first groups were stronger in the 2013 and 2014 debates, mostly with funds from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and New York investors.
In 2021, the Koch networks’ array of real estate and Wall Street donors is trying to play a role by working with George W. Bush. But GOP leaders have used the border chaos to fend off that business push, including from Bush, who recently explained that his low-profit “tree farmer” business could only operate because of cheap foreign labor provided by the government.
Meanwhile, Zuckerberg’s money also goes to business-first groups associated with the GOP’s establishment wing. For example, $200,000 went to the business-backed Texas Public Policy Foundation, and $10,0o0 went to the National Foundation for American Policy. Other Zuckerberg donations went to the Cato Institute and the Niskanen Center.
Via FWD.us and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Zuckerberg has also spread the money around to groups with little role in immigration policy. For example, $125,000 went to the very wealthy Southern Poverty Law Center.
Zuckerberg’s money is backed up by the Democrats’ network of dark money groups, such as the Arabella Advisors group, and likely, with funds from George Soros. The secret donors in groups can profit from their pro-migration amnesty because their investments will gain from any inflow of foreign consumers, retailers, and workers.
Mike Bloomberg was active in 2013 and 2014 but is playing a less visible role in the 2021 amnesty push.
Fox News plays much the same role as in 2013, with breathless coverage of the border and minimal coverage of the wealth shift caused by legal and illegal immigration. The New York Times, the Washington Post, Reuters, and the Associated Press also ignore the federal government’s policy of inflating the labor supply for the benefit of investors.
That leaves Zuckerberg as the “forward face” of the 2021 debate, said one critic.
Each year, four million young Americans enter the workforce. They are forced by their government to compete against a growing population of illegal migrants, against one million new legal immigrants, and the resident workforce of roughly two million temporary guest workers.
For many years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates. This opposition is multiracial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based, bipartisan, rational, persistent, and recognizes the solidarity Americans owe to each other.
The voter opposition to elite-backed economic migration coexists with support for legal immigrants and some sympathy for illegal migrants. But only a minority of Americans — mostly leftists — embrace the many skewed polls and articles pushing the 1950’s corporate “Nation of Immigrants” claim.
The deep public opposition to labor migration is built on the widespread recognition that legal immigration, visa workers, and illegal migration undermine democratic self-government, fracture Americans’ society, move money away from Americans’ pocketbooks, and worsen living costs for American families. Migration moves wealth from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to investors, from technology to stoop labor, from red states to blue states, and from the central states to the coastal states such as New York.