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Billionaire Philanthropist Runs Pro-DACA Television Ads In Louisville


Billionaire philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs is using former President Ronald Reagan in a pro-DACA television ad.

Powell Jobs is founder of Emerson Collective, an organization that advocates for policies concerning education and immigration reform, social justice and environmental conservation. She's also the widow of Apple Co-Founder, Steve Jobs. 

The ad is currently running in six markets, including smaller cities like Milwaukee and Louisville, which are the jurisdictions of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, respectively.

“Both are going to be instrumental in enabling us to bring a bill to the floor for a vote," said Marshall Fitz, managing director of immigration at the Emerson Collective.

The legislation Fitz is referring to is a bill that would continue protections for DACA recipients.

The Trump administration this week announced it will pull the plug on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — or DACA — putting a 6-month expiration date on the legal protections granted to roughly 800,000 people known as “DREAMers,” who entered the country illegally as children.

Emerson Collective's 30-second ad features a portion of Reagan's farewell speech to the country on January 11, 1989. In the ad, Reagan faces the camera and talks about a "Shining City" that’s open to everyone who’s willing to come and work.

Shining City from Emerson Collective on Vimeo.

The ad begins with Reagan’s speech and is interspersed with images of Americana such as children waving the flag, citizens of all races pledging allegiance and affectionate parents spending time with children. The ad ends with a call to viewers to support DREAMers.

Fitz said Reagan was chosen for the ad because the former president is still widely beloved and admired by many Republican leaders.

“Reagan, I think, continues to be viewed by many or most in the Republican Party as one of the great leaders,” said Fitz. “Reagan spoke more clearly and eloquently about the embrace of a pluralistic vision in an open and welcoming society.”

The ads will run for a little more than a week on cable channels such as CNN, MSNBC and FOX. The group will also target viewers on the web.  

Roxanne Scott covers education for WFPL News.

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