By Julian Hattem - 04/18/14 10:01 AM EDT
The pro-immigration-reform group co-founded by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is going after Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for his opposition to letting so-called "DREAMERs" join the military.
Two new ads from FWD.us go after the Iowa firebrand for comments that the group says "weaken our military, not make it stronger."
"Instead of supporting our military, Steve King, a Republican member of Congress, insults the brave soldiers who are immigrants and those who would proudly serve," a voiceover says in one of the ads.
Another features Alejandro Morales, whom the group says moved to the U.S. when he was 7 months old. "America is the only country I've ever known," he says in the minute-long ad.
"I want to be a U.S. citizen. I want to be a Marine. I'm going to be a Marine," he tells the camera while standing in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va., amid soaring string music. "I believe 100 percent what this country stands for. Let me earn it. Let me serve."
The ad then hits King, who this month opposed a bill to let some people who illegally entered the country join the military. The measure was designed as a way to let people become legal permanent residents in the country.
"We're not going to take your oath into the military, but we're going to take your deposition and have a bus for you to Tijuana," King said, a line the ad uses.
The video ends with an image of Morales silhouetted alongside the iconic Marine Corps War Memorial. "Don't let Congressman Steve King speak for you," it reads in text.
The ads will run in Iowa through the end of next week.
Along with the ad effort, FWD.us is also running an online petition to "remind Steve King that 75 percent of Americans support immigration reform." The group's website says it was started by leaders in the tech community to "promote policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy — including comprehensive immigration reform and education reform."
The firebrand Iowa Republican has been one of the most vocal opponents of immigration reform, and his comments have often become fodder for reform supporters.
House GOP lawmakers have been reluctant to push a comprehensive immigration reform bill through their chamber after the Senate passed a bill last year. However, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other leaders are telling donors they still aim to pass legislation this year.
— This story was updated at 10:51 a.m.