Zuckerberg’s Astroturf Empire: ‘This Is the Year’ for Amnesty

Mark Zuckerberg Smiles discussing Facebook

Congress will pass a mass amnesty this year, says a chorus of pro-amnesty activists in Mark Zuckerberg’s astroturf empire.

“Congress is going to pass a pathway to citizenship,” said a tweet from Todd Schulte, the president of Zuckerberg’s amnesty lobby group, FWD.us. “It’s going to happen via the reconciliation bill … this is the year,” he tweeted.

Zuckerberg’s deputy, Alida Garcia, echoed Schulte:

“We’re gonna win,” tweeted Frank Sharry, director of the Zuckerberg-funded Immigrants Voice. “This is the year.”

“This year is our year,” tweeted Lorella Praeli, another activist. “Let’s get citizenship done.”

Zuckerberg’s empire of progressive-themed activist groups has lobbied Democrats to insert four big amnesties into the pending $3.5 trillion spending bill. The bill is designed to pass via the reconciliation process, so the amnesties can pass with 50 votes plus a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris in the 100-seat Senate.

The lobbying push is rational. Zuckerberg’s FWD.us network of coastal investors stands to gain from more cheap labor, government-aided consumers, and room-sharing renters.

The network has funded many astroturf campaigns, urged Democrats not to talk about the economic impact of migration, and manipulated and steered coverage by the TV networks and the print media.

But recent polls show that the public views amnesty as a low priority, far behind the economy and the coronavirus plague. “Last week’s NPR/Ipsos poll illustrates the challenge,” wrote Ali Noorani, who runs the national Immigration Forum with some of Zuckerberg’s cash. “For Democrats and Independents, COVID-19 ranks as the most worrying topic of the day … Reverting to their pre-Trump norm, Democrats place immigration near the bottom of the list of concerns.”

But other Zuckerberg-funded activists keep the amnesty-is-inevitable message going.

“‘This is the year,” tweeted Jess Morales Rocketto, another activist working with Zuckerberg’s FWD.us. “Citizenship for millions, and we are not going home empty handed.”

“This has to be the year,” tweeted Maria Praeli, another Schulte deputy at FWD.us. “We have to get it done,” said Praeli, an illegal immigrant who was used to lobby President Joe Biden face-to-face in the White House.

The coordinated message is being echoed by some of Zuckerberg’s allies on the Hill.

“This is the year — let’s get this done,” said a September 10 tweet by Sen. Alex Padilla, (D-CA). “A pathway to citizenship is a key component of a just, equitable, and robust economic recovery,’ Padilla claimed.

The breadth of investors who founded and funded FWD.us was hidden from casual visitors to the group’s website sometime in the last few months. But copies exist at the other sites.

Many polls show that labor migration is deeply unpopular because it damages ordinary Americans’ career opportunities, cuts their wages, and raises their rents. Migration also curbs their productivity, shrinks their political clout, widens regional wealth gaps, and wrecks their democratic, compromise-promoting civic culture.

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 pocketbook opposition is multiracial, cross-sexnon-racistclass-basedbipartisan,  rationalpersistent, and recognizes the solidarity Americans owe to each other.

FWD.us allies have produced multiple reports claiming very small wage gains for Americans. Those claims are cited in a “50 economists” letter and were debunked by Breitbart News in April.

However, donor-funded GOP leaders have downplayed the pocketbook impact of migration on Americans’ communities. Instead of trying to win worried swing voters by offering pocketbook gains from immigration reform, GOP leaders try to steer GOP base voters’ concerns towards subsidiary non-economic issues, such as migrant crime, the border wall, border chaos, and drug smuggling.


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