Zuckerberg Front-Groups Trying to Influence Voters/Congress

By Wayne Lutton
Volume 24, Number 4 (Summer 2014)
Issue theme: "Billionaires for Open Borders"

Despite widespread public unease over current immigration policies, Mark Zuckerberg and his allies are not giving up. His principle vehicle for promoting amnesty for illegal aliens and increasing legal foreign-worker immigration, www.FWD.us, has two additional front groups devoted to promoting their agenda to potential conservative voters and Republican members of Congress.

Americans for a Conservative Direction, includes a Who’s-who of Republicans known to be soft on border control, including former Republican National Committee Chair and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour; Sally Bradshaw, chief of staff to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; Joel Kaplan, deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush; and Rob Jesmer, former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Erik Erickson, in his Red State Diary entry of April 23, 2013, dubbed Americans for a Conservative Direction, “the latest GOP Scam in Washington.” He noted that “they’re already bilking their donors to support” immigration initiatives sponsored by the Republican backers of the Gang of Eight and Obama. The group commissioned polls in defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s district trying to show support for their version of immigration “reform.”

A second Zuckerberg front directed at conservative and grass-roots voters is the disarmingly named Council for American Job Growth. On their website, they call for “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” including giving lip service to securing the border, but with emphasis on increasing foreign-worker visas, increasing legal immigration, and “establishing a pathway to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the United States who do not have legal status.” In other words, a broad amnesty.

Since the Spring of 2013, FWD.us raised over $75 million, largely spent on various media promotions. They were shocked by the primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a reliable ‘yes’ vote for raising the H-1B visa cap. As Cantor’s primary victor, economics professor David Brat reminded voters during the campaign, “The Chamber of Commerce wants low-skilled cheap labor. Mark Zuckerberg wants high-skilled cheap labor, but at the end of the day, what they have in common is that they all want cheap labor and Eric Cantor wants to give it to them.”

[Breitbart News, May 7, 2013; websites of Americans for a Conservative Direction and Council for American Job Growth; Jessica Meyers, “Mark Zuckerberg’s Immigration Push Hits Brick Wall, Politico, July 8, 2014]

--Wayne Lutton

About the author

Wayne Lutton, Ph.D., is editor of The Social Contract.