The right's war against Trump's immigration plan

McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON -- A group that once backed Donald Trump's immigration policies will take the unusual step Wednesday of launching television ads accusing the president of breaking his campaign promise to crack down on immigration.

Other groups are sending email alerts to their supporters, some nearly daily, asking them to contact members of Congress to kill what they call Trump's "amnesty" plan. And still others are blasting his proposal on Facebook and Twitter.

The common denominator is a sense of betrayal by Trump's compromise on immigration.

Trump announced a plan that would offer 1.8 million young immigrants a chance at citizenship and allow millions of immigrants to legally reside in the country through family reunification programs. It leaves out some secure-enforcement measures.

That led activists that once supported his immigration ideas began doing something they never imagined they would do: waging a campaign against him on the issue.

"What happened to the president that promised to put Americans first?" the narrator says in a TV ad paid for by Californians for Population Stabilization and obtained by McClatchy. "Tweet Donald Trump and ask him."

Together, these groups are reaching millions of like-minded Americans who oppose legal status for brought illegally to the U.S. as children, and back significant and immediate cuts to the number of legal immigrants allowed in the country.

They want supporters to call or write lawmakers to urge them to oppose Trump's proposal as Congress debates an immigration overhaul that would include providing legal status for at least the 690,000 young immigrants currently protected under an expiring Obama-era program.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform already had agreed to sponsor Fox News' online live stream of the State of the Union address when Trump announced an immigration plan it didn't support. The group went ahead with its sponsorship but spread its own message on immigration through a call with several hundred activists, emails and social media. This week, the group is accompanying crime victims and sheriffs around the Capitol.

"We are utilizing all our assets –– grass-roots mobilization, digital platforms, paid radio and TV advertising, Hill outreach and ongoing education –– to ensure the historic opportunity to enact true reforms is not squandered and that promises President Trump made are delivered," said RJ Hauman, the group's government relations director.


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