As the United States Senate began debating Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., immigration reform bill today, The Heritage Foundation launched an unprecedented online advertising campaign against the legislation.
“The bill is an amnesty proposal dressed up in feel-good ‘pathway to citizenship’ rhetoric,” Heritage marketing vice president Genevieve Wood said. The Heritage Foundation’s $100,000 campaign is designed to “cut through the spin and show the proposal for what it really is—a rehashed version of the 1986 reforms that proved to be an abysmal failure,” she continued.
One Heritage image features a picture of Rubio and his recent promise to Univision: “First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border.” The ad’s tag line then reads: “Amnesty? Guaranteed. Border security? Not so much.”
The Heritage Foundation has never been shy about sharing its opinion of specific legislation before Congress. But the scope of this ad buy is an escalation for the think tank that is now run by former-Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
“We know that lawmakers are not going to push, promote and pass conservative ideas unless people understand and support them,” DeMint told Yahoo News this April. “So what I want to do is use my career in advertising and marketing to figure out how to connect with the American people in a way that inspires them and shows them that they can achieve the things they want in their lives if they support the right public policies.”
Heritage will also use the campaign to direct traffic to their controversial cost of amnesty report, which estimated U.S. federal, state, and local taxpayers would face a $6.3 trillion lifetime burden if all illegal immigrants currently in the country were granted citizenship.
“The pro-amnesty crowd is trying every trick in the deceptive marketing handbook—from re-branding ‘amnesty’ as a ‘pathway to citizenship,’ to the old bait-and-switch of promising strong security and delivering nothing but amnesty instead,” Wood added. “We’re trying to shine some light on what the bill really does, so the American people won’t be fooled again as we were in 1986.”