• Spanish Union Ad Attacks Republican Immigration Stance, Leaves Out Specifics

    The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) premiered a Spanish-language television spot Thursday attacking several Republican presidential candidates on immigration.

    The ad targets Republican candidates Marco Ru­bio, Ted Cruz, Don­ald Trump and Jeb Bush. It cites their opposition to President Barack Obama’s executive order on illegal immigration. The unilateral order expanded the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs to include millions more immigrants currently in the country illegally.

    “These can­did­ates may be dif­fer­ent, but their mes­sages are all the same,” the commercial declares. “No to DAPA, no to DACA, no to im­mig­rant fam­il­ies. Now its time for our community to say no. We will not except hate, we will not allow anti-immigrant attacks, we will not support the status-quo because if they win, we lose.”

    English and Spanish versions of the ad were first released online Wednesday. The following day it premiered on television during the Latin Grammy Awards. The order at the moment has not been able to go into effect because of legal disputes playing out in the courts.

    None of the candidates, however, are completely against immigration. They advocate for immigration policies Democrats and labor unions don’t tend to agree with. Ru­bio for instance has advocated for immigration reform. He argued on CBS News in 2014 that the current legal system is outdated.

    Cruz also advocated for immigration reform but wants the border to be secure and legal immigration enforced. Rubio was born to Cuban immigrants while Cruz also has a Cuban parent.

    Additionally, Bush supports immigration reform. While he doesn’t support amnesty, he did say during the Fox News 2016 debate he is for earned legal status. Even Trump, who has made immigration restrictions a central focus of his campaign, isn’t completely against it. He supports immigration reform but opposes amnesty and open borders.

    Though they support certain restrictions, none of the candidates publicly oppose immigration. Their views are also varied enough that they criticize each other. Trump called Rubio’s plan a giveaway to corporations looking for cheap labor.

    The ad leaves the specifics of their stances out.

    It is no surprise organized labor is so adamantly behind the president and his executive order. Once authorized to work, the millions of immigrants are expected to help unions replenish their membership rates which have been in significant decline in recent years. From the beginning, unions set up training, workshop and recruitment programs all specifically aimed at the millions of illegal immigrants that may be eligible for amnesty under the executive order.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership continues to go down year after year. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data is available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent. In 2014, though, the union membership rate fell to just 11.1 percent.

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