Zuckerberg group takes controversial approach on immigration reform

Facebook has rejected an advertisement criticizing Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder, for his political activities. Along with other leaders in the technology industry, Zuckerberg is supporting Fwd.us, a political group that has funded advertisements praising Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Graham supports the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and CREDO Mobile, a politically active phone company, took issue with Zuckerberg for backing the senator, Hayley Tsukayama writes:

The most recent CREDO Mobile ad shows an image of Mark Zuckerberg’s face next to the words “Hey Zuck, Pull your ads supporting Keystone XL.” The ad also uses the Obama for America logo to represent the “O” in Keystone.

The ad was rejected when CREDO tried to post it to the social network. According to an e-mail the company received from Facebook, the ad violates Facebook policies because it uses Zuckerberg’s image.

Zuckerberg announced Fwd.us in a column in The Post last month. The group’s main purpose is to advocate for immigration reform:

Immigration reform is an issue near and dear to the tech industry, which has repeatedly complained that the current system restricts U.S. companies’ ability to recruit and retain high-quality engineering and programming talent.

Tech industry groups have thrown support behind congressional legislation that would boost the number of H-1B visas — visas given to highly skilled workers — issued each year and that would grant permanent residency status to students who earn graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. (Read more about the group here.)

Immigration is the group’s focus. Yet as The Fix explains, in order to achieve its goals, Fwd.us is funding advertisements on unrelated issues on behalf of conservative legislators:

The key to passing a comprehensive immigration reform package through the Senate has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with providing conservative cover to those who are considering voting for it. . .

To get immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship through the Senate, groups like Zuckerberg’s have to prove that voting for it won’t be viewed as apostasy among the conservative community. (Remember that the 2007 immigration reform bill was done in by strong opposition from conservative talk radio.)

To do that, a case for the conservative bona fides of the likes of Graham (as well as other potential “yes” votes on the Senate Judiciary Committee including Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Flake of Arizona) has to be made over an extended period of time. And that case is entirely disconnected from the immigration issue. (Read the rest of the analysis at The Fix.)

Find more here about the specific reforms Fwd.us is seeking.

Sign up today to receive #thecircuit, a daily roundup of the latest tech policy news from Washington and how it is shaping business, entertainment and science.

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.
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Facebook has rejected an advertisement criticizing Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder, for his political activities. Along with other leaders in the technology industry, Zuckerberg is supporting Fwd.us, a political group that has funded advertisements praising Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Graham supports the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and CREDO Mobile, a politically active phone company, took issue with Zuckerberg for backing the senator, Hayley Tsukayama writes:

The most recent CREDO Mobile ad shows an image of Mark Zuckerberg’s face next to the words “Hey Zuck, Pull your ads supporting Keystone XL.” The ad also uses the Obama for America logo to represent the “O” in Keystone.

The ad was rejected when CREDO tried to post it to the social network. According to an e-mail the company received from Facebook, the ad violates Facebook policies because it uses Zuckerberg’s image.

Zuckerberg announced Fwd.us in a column in The Post last month. The group’s main purpose is to advocate for immigration reform:

Immigration reform is an issue near and dear to the tech industry, which has repeatedly complained that the current system restricts U.S. companies’ ability to recruit and retain high-quality engineering and programming talent.

Tech industry groups have thrown support behind congressional legislation that would boost the number of H-1B visas — visas given to highly skilled workers — issued each year and that would grant permanent residency status to students who earn graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. (Read more about the group here.)

Immigration is the group’s focus. Yet as The Fix explains, in order to achieve its goals, Fwd.us is funding advertisements on unrelated issues on behalf of conservative legislators:

The key to passing a comprehensive immigration reform package through the Senate has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with providing conservative cover to those who are considering voting for it. . .

To get immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship through the Senate, groups like Zuckerberg’s have to prove that voting for it won’t be viewed as apostasy among the conservative community. (Remember that the 2007 immigration reform bill was done in by strong opposition from conservative talk radio.)

To do that, a case for the conservative bona fides of the likes of Graham (as well as other potential “yes” votes on the Senate Judiciary Committee including Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Flake of Arizona) has to be made over an extended period of time. And that case is entirely disconnected from the immigration issue. (Read the rest of the analysis at The Fix.)

Find more here about the specific reforms Fwd.us is seeking.

Sign up today to receive #thecircuit, a daily roundup of the latest tech policy news from Washington and how it is shaping business, entertainment and science.

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.
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