The Mark Zuckerberg backed lobbying group for mass immigration and amnesty, Fwd.us, is airing $150,000 in television ads this week defending Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) for her support of granting legal status to illegal aliens. While Rep. Ellmers denies that she supports “a pathway to citizenship or amnesty,” she has explicitly backed providing legal status to illegal aliens, after which they may apply for naturalization, which of course, is a pathway to citizenship.
Since its founding last April, Fwd.us, through its subsidiary “Americans for a Conservative Direction,” its “conservative” arm, has been running ads to bolster support for Republican amnesty proponents among Republican voters. Meanwhile, Fwd.us’s other subsidiary, “The Council for American Job Growth,” runs ads critical of Republicans for failing to pass immigration bills. These ads are meant to influence Democratic or independent voters. In this latest ad, Fwd.us touts Rep. Ellmers as “a conservative fighter for North Carolina” who is “working hard to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system once and for all. No amnesty, period.”
True immigration reformers, inside and outside of Rep. Ellmers’ district, have criticized the congresswoman for her open borders position on immigration. Earlier this month, amnesty opponent Laura Ingraham engaged Ellmers in a spirited immigration debate on her radio show. The clash began when Ingraham asked Ellmers about immigration, mentioning that her opponent Frank Roche in the upcoming Republican primary was emphasizing the issue. When Ellmers insisted that she did not support amnesty, but she did support legal status for illegal aliens because the immigration system is “broken,” Ingraham accused her of repeating a “liberal line” that is “repeated by all your enemies.” Responding to Ellmers’ invocation of legalization as necessary to avoid “de facto amnesty,” Ingraham asked her, “You realize La Raza wrote that line?” Towards the end of the interview, Rep. Ellmers told Ingraham that her position was “ignorant.”
Two days after her radio show appearance, Rep. Ellmers claimed that her opponent was misrepresenting her as supporting “amnesty” or “a path to citizenship.” (See the clip below.) She then “clarified” her position by stating that her position was the same as that of Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Dr. Ben Carson, and the National Federation of Republican Women, though they do not all hold the same position on immigration.
Finally, last Friday, not quite a week after she last tried to “clarify” her immigration position, Rep. Ellmers got into a screaming match over immigration with a constituent, whom she berated as consumed with “vitriol and hatred” and talking “without any damn facts.” The constituent, Ron Woodard, is the head of the North Carolina non-profit organization, NC Listen, which advocates lower immigration levels and rejects amnesty. Woodard wrote of how much trouble he went through to set up the meeting and how disappointed he was by his reception on ConservativeHQ.com. “I asked her why she was for giving legal work permits to illegal immigrants when we have 20 million citizens in the USA who are either unemployed or are working part-time but want and cannot find a full-time job…she never would answer that question.”
Representative Ellmers’ altercation with Ingraham and its aftermath underscores how amnesty proponents want to redefine the terms of the immigration debate. Black’s Law Dictionary defines amnesty as “a pardon extended by the government to a group or class of persons,” and specifically cites the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act as an example. Therefore, any act of legalization, even if a nominal fine were included, would in fact be an amnesty for illegal aliens. Representative Ellmers is not the first to attempt to use punitive sounding language to describe legislative proposals which actually act to reward law breaking. (See FAIR’s Decoding Amnesty Speak.)