Zuckerberg group defends Paul Ryan in pro-immigration TV ad in Wisconsin

A pro-immigration conservative group funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us is running an new TV ad that defends Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) support of immigration reform. 

The Americans for a Conservative Direction TV ad, called "Solutions," will run for the next couple of weeks on broadcast and cable TV in Milwaukee. 


The TV ad buy is roughly $350,000, which is double the amount that anti-immigration group Federation for American Immigration Reform is spending on ads that criticize Ryan for his work on immigration reform.

The ad defends Ryan's support for overhauling the country's immigration laws, touting his backing of beefed-up border security and the expansion of the E-Verify hiring program. Ryan has emerged as one of the lead Republicans on the issue and has played a key role in charting the House's path forward on immigration legislation. 

"Amnesty? Not a chance. Paul's doing what he always does: Working for a smart conservative solution to a tough problem," the ad says. "Ryans's approach: Border security, to stop future illegal immigration. E-Verify, so employers can't hire illegal workers. For those already here, criminal background checks, fines, back taxes and go to the back of the line."

"Paul Ryan: Doing what's right for Wisconsin and America," the end of the ad says.

The ad is part of FWD.us's push to keep the momentum behind immigration reform going while lawmakers are back in their home districts for the August recess.

FWD.us, the political advocacy group co-founded by Zuckerberg and funded by top Silicon Valley tech executives, has doled out cash for TV ads run by Americans for a Conservative Direction. The ads tout the conservative bona fides of lawmakers that support immigration reform, including Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.).

Earlier this year, FWD.us funded ads that aimed to provide political cover to senators who backed sweeping immigration legislation. An ad for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) lauded his support of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, while another ad for Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) highlighted his support for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.

The controversial ads prompted protests from environmentalists and progressive groups, who temporarily boycotted purchasing ads on Facebook. Elon Musk, CEO of electric carmaker Tesla, publicly quit FWD.us after the ads ran.

FWD.us unveiled its own pro-immigration-reform ad earlier this week, which will run on cable outlets, the Web and 13 major TV broadcast markets across the country.