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New ad revives call for immigration reform

Resource type: News

Associated Press State & Local Wire |

by KATHLEEN HENNESSEY A pro-immigration group has launched a new televison ad campaign intended to revive discussion of immigration reform in some swing states key to the presidential race. Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together, a nonprofit that describes itself as nonpartisan, launched the campaign Thursday with a 60-second spot urging for a call to finish the work of immigration reform. The ad claims that border security has improved and deportation of illegal immigrants has increased since the heated 2006 reform debate in Congress. “Let’s finish the job by enacting comprehensive immigration solutions. We need to bring the estimated 12 million undocumented workers who are in our country into a legal system of employment,” the ad says. The spot is running in Las Vegas, Denver, Albuquerque and Phoenix. The group says it has plans to go up next in Richmond, Va. Former Texas Rep. Henry Bonilla, a spokesman for the San Antonio-based group, says the aim is to encourage a “middle-of-the-road solution” that addresses both security issues and the needs of employers and immigrants seeking work. The ad does not advocate directly for a “path to citizenship” for those who entered the country illegally. The provision was among those that sank the 2006 immigration reform bill co-sponsored by Sen. John McCain, now the Republican presidential nominee. Bonilla said the group tried to stay away from phrases that “stir people up.” “We’re by no means saying one aspect has to be involved. We’re saying everyone has to keep this fire burning, so that there is a solution at the end,” Bonilla said. Since the issue hit a boiling point two years ago, immigration reform has slipped on voters’ lists of top concerns. Amid the financial turmoil on Wall Street, it’s unlikely either candidate will take up the issue in the final weeks of the campaign. Both McCain and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama say they want to reform the troubled immigration system. McCain has said he would not reintroduce the bill he once supported in the Senate.

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