Under former Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, the Heritage Foundation is wading into the debate over immigration through advocacy, not research.
The think tank today announced it would spend up to $100,000 on an online advertising campaign against the bipartisan immigration bill now moving through the Senate.
“The bill is an amnesty proposal dressed up in feel-good ‘pathway to citizenship’ rhetoric,” said Genevieve Wood, Heritage vice president of marketing. “The pro-amnesty crowd is trying every trick in the deceptive marketing handbook—from re-branding ‘amnesty’ as a ‘pathway to citizenship,’ to the old bait-and-switch of promising strong security and delivering nothing but amnesty instead.”
Heritage’s previous attempt to enter the debate over immigration didn’t go over so well. Its report issued May 6 said a path to citizenship for about 11 million undocumented immigrants would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion.
The report’s co-author, Jason Richwine, resigned from Heritage shortly thereafter following revelations that he wrote a Harvard University dissertation in 2009 saying immigrants’ intelligence quotient scores were “substantially lower” than those of white Americans and that the difference was “likely to persist over several generations.”
The ads reference Heritage research showing that the proposal would add trillions of dollars to the national debt. Playing off the growing mistrust of government due to the IRS and other scandals, one ad reads: “Washington just gave us another reason to be suspicious…Putting amnesty into an immigration bill.”
The think tank has initially committed to spend up to $100,000 on the campaign over the course of the Senate debate.
“The pro-amnesty crowd is trying every trick in the deceptive marketing handbook—from re-branding ‘amnesty’ as a ‘pathway to citizenship,’ to the old bait-and-switch of promising strong security and delivering nothing but amnesty instead,” Wood said. “We’re trying to shine some light on what the bill really does, so the American people won’t be fooled again as we were in 1986.”