An advocacy organization that favors a reduction in immigration began airing ads on Thursday, highlighting what it believes would be the impact an amnesty would have on migration to the United States.
Using a chalkboard, the ad explains how immigrants and new citizens become eligible to sponsor members of their extended families for immigration into the United States. It sets off “a potentially never-ending chain, all possible from just one amnesty for one person,” the ad by NumbersUSA states.
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It is an important part of the current debate over whether Congress should grant legal status to hundreds of thousands of people brought to America illegally by their families when they were children.
NumbersUSA President Roy Beck warned the impact would reach much further than the roughly 690,000 people who had signed up for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program when President Donald Trump announced in September he would end the initiative. It was created through executive action by former President Barack Obama.
“Most people really haven’t thought about it,” Beck told LifeZette. “We want to raise consciousness so the public knows exactly what that means.”
Beck said the six-figure ad buy is timed to influence the “DACA train” that is picking up steam in Congress as the March deadline declared by Trump approaches. He said the ads will run on CNN and Fox News, also on the internet. He noted that NumbersUSA has seven million Facebook followers as well.
“We’ll be pushing it out in their hands to share and distribute around the country,” Beck said.
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Chain migration has become a high-profile issue in the past year. The NumbersUSA ad estimates the initiative is responsible for 250,000 new immigrants each year.
Trump has urged Congress to eliminate chain migration in any DACA deal, and Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) would severely restrict it as part of their proposed Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) ACT.
The Security, Enforcement, and Compassion United in Reform Efforts (SECURE) Act, offered this month by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), also would reduce chain migration.
Beck said there are good features in that bill, but he also said it appears to allow pending family-sponsored immigration applications to continue to be processed.
“That would still keep chain migration going on for years,” he said.
As a DACA compromise, Beck said, “Anything short of ending chain migration is unacceptable.”
Polling sponsored by NumbersUSA indicates that public support for restricting chain migration is strong. A poll commissioned by the organization in several key states over the summer found that by a margin of 65 percent to 21 percent, those surveyed favored limiting family-sponsored immigration to the spouses and minor children of newcomers.
(photo credit, homepage image: CBP Arrests 5 Aliens Attempting Re-entry via Puerto Rico, CC 0, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection; photo credit, article image: Caution Economic Refugees, CC BY 2.0, by Jonathan McIntosh)