By Fredreka Schouten, on April 30, 2014
A group backed by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is launching a new round of ads to encourage Congress to overhaul the nation’s immigration system this year.
And in an effort to target Washington insiders, the ads from the Partnership for a New American Economy will start appearing next week in D.C. taxi cabs. The commercials also will run online and on TV.
The ads take a light-hearted approach. A cartoon figure is stripped of his blue jeans and the ability to search on Google to illustrate immigrants’ inventions that pervade American life. (Levi Strauss of blue jeans fame emigrated from Germany; Google co-founder Sergey Brin was born in Russia.)
“Immigrants invented many of the things we use every day,” a female narrator says. “Without them, America wouldn’t be America.”
Viewers are urged to tell Congress that “it’s time to pass immigration reform now.”
John Feinblatt, the group’s chairman, said “lack of action on immigration reform is causing American industries to lose their competitive edge.”
The Senate last year passed a comprehensive immigration bill that beefs up border security, creates a path to citizenship for the USA’s undocumented immigrants and increases the number of high-tech and lower-skilled foreign workers allowed to enter the country.
The legislation has gained no traction in the House, however. Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, argued that distrust of President Obama was the "the impediment" to moving forward not the reluctance of conservative members of his caucus to take up the bill.
Several top executives serve as co-chairs of the Partnership for a New American Economy, including News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO and president.
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