Americans for a Conservative Direction ad "Choices" misleads about immigration (Zuckerberg, Facebook)

"Americans for a Conservative Direction" is a front group for FWD US, which is a front group started by billionaire Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and other wealthy Silicon Valley employers. Their latest ad is called "Choices" and it's as deceptive as you might expect.

The ad (video below) is an example of the deportations false choice. It pretends that we have to choose between mass deportations and comprehensive immigration reform. It ignores another option: attrition. Under that plan we'd increase immigration enforcement both at the border and at workplaces and decrease incentives (like DACA, drivers licenses for illegal aliens, college discounts, and so on).

The ad claims it would cost $300 billion to deport all illegal aliens in the U.S. [1] That figure was from a Center for American Progress study, and that thinktank is not exactly known for telling the truth and the whole truth. The study used a highly-flawed methodology to arrive at such a high cost. From a standpoint of sovereignty, if millions of foreign citizens live in a country and that country can't eject them (abiding by human rights norms), then that country has in effect been settled and has lost partial control of its territory. Be that as it may, no one with any political power is calling for mass deportations. Instead, groups like NumbersUSA, FAIR, the Center for Immigration Studies, the state of Arizona, and some politicians support attrition (see the link above). The ACD/Zuckerberg ad attempts to deceive by failing to note attrition as one of their "choices".

The latest ad also engages in false compassion, claiming that the mass deportations (which no one with any political power supports) would "tear hardworking families apart." The rise in mixed-status families was brought about through illegal immigration, something that any sort of mass legalization would increase. By promoting mass legalization, the ACD/Zuckerberg ad is setting the stage for many more mixed-status families, and some of those would be affected by deportations. The only realistic option to reduce the numbers of mixed-status families is to stringently enforce our immigration laws in order to reduce the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. and to reduce future illegal immigration.

The voiceover artist for the ad must have had to do several takes to avoid laughing when he claims that that immigration reform would ensure "this never happens again". As can be seen with children pouring over our borders now, any perceived weakness on immigration enforcement will lead to more illegal immigration. The same promise was made about the 1986 amnesty, and the same thing that happened in that case would happen now: millions of illegal aliens would be legalized but the promised increased enforcement would be undercut. Those who support immigration reform would receive even more power from that reform than they have now, and they'd use that increased power to push for looser borders and future legalization programs.

The ad claims that 11 million people would have to pass a "tough background check", and that claim is highly deceptive. It would take 5 to ten years to do FBI-quality background checks on that many people. The great majority of the illegal aliens in the U.S. come from countries that have at best rocky relationships with the U.S., that don't keep good records, and that have corrupt public officials. How could we trust that the background information a country provided on an illegal alien was accurate?

The ad also claims that those who'd be legalized would have to learn English. Most immigration reform bills aren't so strict and only require someone to be enrolled in an ESL course or similar.

Want to do something about this? All you have to do is search Twitter for those promoting this ad, such as by searching for those mentioning @FWD_us. Then, make the points above to them. Do the same on other social media... like Facebook.

[1] The ad cites "A world of both grace, disgrace is revealed in nun's death" by Washington Post Metro columnist Robert McCartney ( ). You can also contact those he tweets with using @McCartneyWP and point out to them that he too promoted the same false choice as the ad:

"The killer fact in this debate that they are not willing to admit -- because they know it's highly unrealistic and exorbitantly costly -- is that the only alternative [to legalization] is mass deportation," said Marshall Fitz, director of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress. A study by the group estimates that deporting all of the nation's illegal immigrants would cost $300 billion.