FWD.us, the political organization started by Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, will launch the second video in a six-part series about mass deportation with a hypothetical scenario narrated by a 6-year-old Californian who has become the cherubic face of pro-immigrant causes.
"You deported my mommy," says Sophie Cruz, staring into camera alongside her mother. The little girl, whose parents are undocumented, became instantly recognizable across the country as the child who ran past barriers to deliver a letter to Pope Francis during his visit to Washington in September. The pontiff waved Sophie over after she was detained by security officers and he kissed her.
In her note, the child -- who had help writing the letter -- pleaded for help to convince politicians to pass comprehensive immigration reform and keep her family united.
The issue is at the center of the organization's digital campaign to influence the 2016 presidential elections, in which Republican front-runner Donald Trump explicitly favors a mass deportation policy that would send more than 11 million people out of the country. Others have proposed removal policies and questioned the wisdom of birthright citizenship. The advocacy group has taken controversial political positions in the past that prompted some industry leaders to defect from its platform.
Zuckerberg argued in a 2013 op-ed in the Washington Post that immigrants are particularly vital to the knowledge economy of the tech industry and its innovation prospects. The advocacy group, though, is not only lobbying for Congress to make the path easier for high-skilled foreign laborers that arrive on student or worker visas but also for the low-skilled workers who came across the U.S.-Mexico border, much like Sophie's family.
With it's series "11 million stories," FWD.us is focusing on the imaginary circumstances of what could happen to real people in the event that a program like the one Trump has advocated were to take shape. The candidate himself, however, has been vague on the details of how those deportation policies would be implemented.
"We are trying to draw a line in the sand for those for and against mass deportation," said organization spokesman Michael Rekola. "We are on the side of any politician against mass deportation who wants to present a serious solution to fixing our broken immigration system."
All the Democratic presidential candidates and many on the Republican side have denounced Trump's proposal as absurd and prohibitively costly. Meanwhile, a majority of Republicans in this CNN poll believe the government should not only halt the illegal immigration flow but also deport those who are here.
Rekola said the organization wants to make it clear that mass deportation is not a legitimate proposal that would destroy the economy. In a statement, FWD.us said the "...majority of Americans -- more than three in four -- categorically reject it."
The group's latest video takes viewers through a black-and-white animation depicting a police state scenario with immigration officers rounding up students at school, placing them on buses and transporting them to family detention centers. The group estimated that between 2 to 3 million students, including Americans like Sophie, would be sent away.
"...Grownups are always fighting about me," Sophie says in her voice-over as images of protesters in gray gradient appear holding signs saying, "Illegals must go."
Some grown-ups don't want me to stay but I was born here," Sophie continues. "And some grown-ups say I'm the 14th amend-a-ment," adding an extra syllable to the word with her pronunciation.
Read more here for a deeper dive into the organization's immigration platform.