As CNN aired Donald Trump’s Dallas speech live last night, one of the commercial breaks featured a pro-immigration ad featuring the words of President Reagan.
The ad intersperses Reagan’s 1989 farewell address to the nation, talking of the “shining city on the hill… teeming with people of all kinds,” with quotes from Trump, Scott Walker, and Ted Cruz on immigration issues such as birthright citizenship and building a border wall.
It promotes the hashtag #AmericaIsBetter, which has been used by UNITE HERE union leader Maria Eleana Durazo and other immigration advocates. But the group behind the ad, the National Immigration Forum, has Republicans on its board of directors including Jeb Bush’s son Jeb Jr., and supporters including Grover Norquist and Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.).
“Time and time again conservative leaders are stepping up to say that the hardline immigration rhetoric of the campaign trail does not reflect the views of the Republican Party,” Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, said in a statement last week. “When influential conservatives are saying ‘this is not our party, these are not our views,’ it’s hard to look at inflammatory rhetoric as anything other than a pass at headline grabbing.”
“At the end of the day, all candidates need to step up, listen to the will of the American people and answer serious questions about how their approach toward immigrants and immigration will strengthen our economy, our communities and our common future.”
The Washington Post reported that the group made a six-figure ad buy on CNN before, during and after tomorrow night’s Ronald Reagan Presidential Library debate. They’re also airing the ad during Fox and MSNBC’s pre- and post-game coverage.