Pro-immigrant campaign targets GOP for lack of DACA fix

An immigration advocacy group on Monday released a bilingual digital ad campaign targeting vulnerable Republican House members over the failure of Congress to legislate on immigration.

The six-figure digital ad buy from iAmerica Action will run in English and Spanish in 27 districts.

ADVERTISEMENT

The ads point to the benefits of a diverse society and pin blame on President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE and congressional Republicans for not passing legislation to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

"Our melting pot forges the American Dream, and that dream keeps America going. It makes us strong," says the English-speaking narrator in the ad.

"Trump ended that dream. And congressional Republicans failed to act. Isn't it time we had a Congress willing to make the dream real?"

Trump ended DACA with a six-month delay in September, setting a deadline of March 5 for Congress to pass a law giving permanent benefits to DACA recipients.

Despite consideration of several proposals — including a handful of bipartisan deals — Congress did not pass any legislation on the matter. 

DACA recipients have remained protected because of a court injunction suspending Trump's decision to end the program, but so-called Dreamers outside the program — other undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as minors — are subject to deportation.

The ads target districts where Republican incumbents traditionally face tough races, but also some districts that are generally considered safe Republican seats.

Chief among the latter group is House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy Mark Sanford’s troubles did not begin with Trump NY Post blasts Trump, GOP over separating families at border MORE's (R-Wis.) home district.

Despite his Democratic opponents exceeding fundraising expectations, Ryan is widely expected to win easily if he runs for reelection in November. 

Still, iAmerica Action's ad buy is consistent with the 2018 Democratic strategy of stretching the electoral battlefield, as widespread support for Dreamers looks increasingly like an issue that will favor Democrats in November. 

Trump has challenged the notion that he, and Republicans by extension, are responsible for legislative inaction on immigration in general, and Dreamers in particular. 

"DACA is dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon," Trump tweeted last Monday.

Rocio Sáenz, president of iAmerica Action, disagrees and says it is "time that we had a Congress willing to make the Dream real."

“While President Trump may attempt to tweet away the truth, Americans know who ended DACA: the Republican-held White House and the Republican-held Congress. It’s time that we had a Congress willing to make the Dream real and to defend our nation’s values,” said Sáenz.

The ads will run in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.